The Tipton Lady Cardinals played a solid defensive game to defeat the Smithton Lady Tigers 59-24, in the first round of the Tipton Tournament Monday night.
Tipton led form the opening tip scoring the first six points of the game before Smithton got on the board at the 5:37 mark of the first quarter.
The Cardinals outscored Smithton 19-6 in the first quarter but were never able to put together a large lead in the contest, something Tipton’s head coach Jason Culpepper was hoping to see his team accomplish.
“It certainly wasn’t an easy victory,” Culpepper said after the game. “We didn’t really have any runs and last season we were accustomed to that.
“We can be a 70-point a night team,” Culpepper added. “Our chemistry isn’t quiet where we need it to be, but it’s early in the season.”
The Cards return all state point-guard, Destiny Dowell, whose leadership should help the team develop that chemistry Culpepper hopes to see in his team.
Defending conference champions for the last two season as well as Tipton Tournament Champions for the past two years, Tipton had four players in double figures.
Alyson Brant led the Cardinals with 15. Destiny Dowell had 13 and Madelyn Eldringhoff added 12.
Freshman Brooklyn Pace had a double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“Their two guards simply dominated on offense and defense,” Smithton head coach Brian Werner said. “They are an extremely well coached team and that’s why they have been so successful in the last two years.
Tonight’s game is going to be a good measure of what we need to do to get to the top tier of conference play,” Werner added.
Mackenzie Green, who came off the bench for Smithton led the Tigers with six points and starter Haleigh Ferguson added four.
Smithton 0-3 on the year will face the loser of last night’s Chamois-Macks Creek contest on Wednesday night at 4:30 p.m.
Tipton who is 1-1 on the year lost a hard fought contest with Southern Boone on Nov. 23.
“We’re at the gate right now because it’s early in the season,” Culpepper said. “By the end of the season we want to be playing with the Southern Boones.”
Tipton, the number one seed in the tournament will face the winner of the Chamois-Mack’s Creek contest at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484