Tipton could not hold off a fourth quarter rally from Russellville, falling to the Indians 74-68 on Monday at the W-K Shootout at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center.
A Noah Turner 3-pointer put the Cardinals up 57-39 early in the fourth, but Russellville outscored Tipton 35-11 the rest of the way.
“We just stopped rebounding, silly passes, careless with the ball, weren’t running offense,” said Tipton coach Jacob Watson. “It’s what we talked about in the locker room, that we’ve just got to figure out that we’re going to play four quarters of basketball and until we do, these are the kind of games we’re going to end up losing.”
The Indians opened the rally by turning up the pressure, forcing three straight Tipton turnovers and getting a layup and a putback.
The lead was cut to nine after Russellville missed a free throw but got the rebound and the putback. Pressing the inbounds afterwards, Tyler Voss came up with a steal and a layup to cut the Cardinals lead to 57-50.
“I could tell when we pressured them, we were causing a lot of turnovers,” said Russellville coach Zane Garr. “My thing was just don’t give up, don’t give up, keep trying. We got a few turnovers, we got a few back-tips and we got lucky on a few free throws when we missed and put them back in.”
Four times in the fourth quarter alone, Russellville missed a free throw but got the offensive rebound and followed with a putback. The third of those, with 4:14 to go in the game, got the Indians within one.
“We did put some new rules in that any second-chance rebound, you automatically have to go up with it,” Garr said.
The Indians tied the game when Beau Bryant hit a basket in the paint with 2:01 left in the game. Voss put the Indians ahead with the next trip down the floor.
Moments later, Tipton had a chance to tie the game, but Dylan Henderson blocked a shot in the paint. Henderson had 13 points in the fourth quarter alone and finished with 25.
“He was a good player, really athletic, could handle the ball and could spread you out on defense,” Fox said. “We also hurt ourselves getting out of position.”
For the first three quarters, Tipton built leads only to see Russellville answer. Bryant Carpenter hit a basket early in the second to make it 17-10 Cardinals, but two baskets from Henderson and a layup from Seth Kuda cut the lead to one. Tipton built a 21-16 lead on back-to-back baskets from Bryce Sanders, but the Indians again got within two moments later.
In the third quarter, the Cardinals seemed on the verge of putting the game away. A Ryan Wood steal led to a Jimmy Upton layup and moments later Upton had a steal and another layup to put the Cardinals ahead 34-24.
Tipton closed the third with a 10-2 run. Wood got a steal and fed Turner for a layup and Tipton got baskets from Sanders, Carpenter and Trenton Pace.
In the third quarter alone, Wood had four steals while Upton had 12 points.
“Ryan and Jimmy are the two players we really need to play well for us to win,” Watson said. “They both played extremely well the first three quarters.”
Upton finished with 19 points for Tipton. Sanders had 18. Wood had 11.
Tipton (2-7) will face Westran to open the New Franklin Tournament on Monday.
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles