TIPTON, Mo. — The Russellville girls basketball team finished in second place Dec. 7 at the Tipton tournament after a 71-55 loss to the Tipton Cardinals. The Indians are now 2-2 on the year.
The Indians trailed 19-15 after the first quarter. Tipton followed up with a big second quarter as the Cardinals outscored Russellville 25-14. The Indians found themselves trailing 41-27 with under two minutes left in the first half. The team cut the deficit down to 41-29 with 24.8 seconds left, but a three-pointer by Tipton increased the lead to 44-29 right before halftime.
In the first half, the Indians committed five fouls. Head coach Brian Bishop said the 1-3-1 zone they play on defense helps keep the team out of foul trouble.
"(Tipton) obviously has four girls that can drive the ball really (well)," Bishop said. "That is why we tried to stay out of man-to-man as long as we could. Once we got into man, that is when we started fouling more."
In the third quarter, the Indians slowly pulled the game back into single digits, as they went on an 8-2 run to make it a 46-37 game with 4:05 left in the third quarter. Tipton answered back with a 5-2 run to make it 51-39 with 2:24 left to play in the third quarter. The Indians were again able to get within 10 points as they made it a 51-43 with under 20 seconds left in the quarter, but Tipton again closed out a quarter with a three-pointer, making it 54-43.
Bishop said the team competed really well, despite the tough matchup.
"I was really proud of them," Bishop said. "That is a tough team we played, probably one of the better ones on our schedule, and we competed really well. Obviously the score probably doesn't show that in the end because we were fouling, but it was closer than it looked."
Tipton made eight three-pointers in the game. Bishop said Russellville will work on rotating and covering three-pointer shots more in practice.
"Give them credit, (Tipton) spread the floor out, and they were hitting their shots," Bishop said.
Both teams played some tough defense in the final quarter — only two points had been scored with around 5:53 to go in the game and Tipton leading 56-43. Russellville got their first points of the quarter with 5:37 left to make it 56-45. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter it looked like every time the Indians were about to get the game back down to single digits, the Cardinals would answer to keep it a double digit deficit. With 3:39 left in the game, Russellville made it 58-47 only for Tipton to increase their lead to 60-47 shortly after. Then, with just over 1:30 left in the game, the Indians had narrowed the lead back down to 10 at 62-52, but the Cardinals started to pull away late thanks to free throws and led 67-52 with 47.8 seconds left. Tipton iced the game with a few more points to secure the win, as they outscored the Indians 17-12 in the final quarter.
Camie Grayson had a team high 16 points for Russellville, followed by Reagan Jenkins with 15 points and Allison Schrimpf with eight points.
In their path to the final, the Indians defeated Jamestown 54-20 in their first round game Dec. 2, and the team defeated New Bloomfield 64-38 in the second round game Dec. 4.
Bishop said the team learned a lot from the tournament, and he said he liked what he saw from his players.
"We learned that we can hang physically and mentally," Bishop said. "We got down early in the game and came back and cut into the deficit."
The Indians' next game is a home rematch against the Jamestown Eagles at 6 p.m. Dec. 11.