Springboro comes up big against Tipp

Springboro’s Jordan Diehl (with ball) is checked by Tipp’s Taylor Prall. Springboro defeated visiting Tippecanoe 50-36 in a girls high school basketball game on Sat., Jan. 7, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

caption arrowCaption
Springboro’s Jordan Diehl (with ball) is checked by Tipp’s Taylor Prall. Springboro defeated visiting Tippecanoe 50-36 in a girls high school basketball game on Sat., Jan. 7, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Matching up against Springboro’s formidable front court is a tall order for teams. Lauren Thomas is a shot-blocking 6-foot junior. What she doesn’t swat, 6-foot sophomore Rachel Gillum takes.

“We play really good high-low and inside out with them,” admitted Haylie Crouch, another 6-1 senior front-liner with an immense presence. “The guards really help as well.”

FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

Tippecanoe was the latest in failing the Springboro challenge, falling 50-36 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover showdown Saturday afternoon.

Kennedy Lewis led the Panthers with 11 points, but it was Thomas, Gillum and Crouch who fueled Springboro in defensive effectiveness. The win improves Springboro to 10-2 overall and solidifies a spot among the area’s elite Division I programs yet again.

Led by veteran coach Tom Benjamin, Springboro lost its opener to unbeaten Mason 50-40 and also lost to Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.) in a holiday tournament. In between was a 59-58 overtime defeat of two-time defending D-II state champ Alter.

RELATED: High School results for Jan. 7

It’s the first time in four seasons Springboro doesn’t have 2016 grad and program record-setter Kelly Wurth in its lineup. The Panthers also have overcome the loss of promising sophomore Maddy Bakosh. She was injured in the preseason and recently underwent ACL surgery.

“We have a little bit of depth and we have some size and people who can shoot,” said Benjamin, who’s in his 12th season at Springboro and 37th overall coaching girls basketball. “That’s a good combination to try to replace people with. We’re getting better and that’s what we’re looking to do. We’re cautiously optimistic.”

RELATED: Unbeaten Carroll no match for Alter

Jordan Diehl added 9 points, Thomas 8 and Crouch 7. Springboro has another big-time game Wednesday at Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame (9-2). Lebanon (9-2) is keeping pace with Springboro overall but at 3-2 trails the unbeaten Panthers (5-0) in the GWOC National West.

It’s the first season for Tipp (8-2) in the GWOC after jumping from the Central Buckeye Conference. That will eventually help the Red Devils, according to Andy Holderman, in his second season as Tipp’s coach.

Tipp is among a large field of outstanding area D-II programs. The Red Devils were eliminated by Alter at the regional level the past two seasons.

“It’s been nice for us,” Holderman said. “Obviously, the bus rides are a lot shorter. The quality of basketball is very good. There’s a big diversity of players now. To come down here and get the opportunity to play the Division Is, those are great learning tools that we weren’t able to experience in the CBC a year ago.”

Sophomore Brook Aselage led Tipp with 12 points. Cali Stewart and Allison Mader each added 8.

Tipp leads the GWOC American North at 5-0. Its only other loss also was in the opener, 38-28 at Fairmont. Besides the remaining divisional schedule, Tipp will host Trotwood-Madison (9-2) on Jan. 21.


MORE ONLINE

View photos and video from the game at MyDaytonDailyNews.com

About the Author