Tuesday’s girls’ basketball contest between Kaysinger conference leaders Stover and Tipton lived up to its billing and required overtime to settle their bout.
Tipton, riding a three-year conference win streak, outlasted the Lady Bulldogs to earn a 58-53 victory on the road.
Stover opened the game with a 5-0 run. Mallory Uptegrove blocked a shot on defense, and completed a three-point play on the next possession.
Uptegrove, Stover’s leading scorer, finished with 15 points despite being hounded by Tipton defenders throughout the game.
Lady Cardinals head coach Jason Culpepper said Stover’s reliance on post-play and Uptegrove’s talent changed the outlook of their fast-pace offense.
“They did a good job of slowing things down,” Culpepper said. “We didn’t get a lot of fast-break opportunities. A lot of that goes back to, (Tipton) took decent shots. They were patient on offense.
“(Uptegrove) is a heck of a player. I thought our girls did a good job of guarding her.”
Jensen Bauer and Eleanor Oehrke scored 10 points each for Stover.
Alyson Brant and freshman Brooklyn Pace led Tipton with 16 points apiece. Pace put the Lady Cardinals up 22-19 with less than two minutes to play in the first quarter with a 3-pointer. She finished the game with four makes beyond the arc.
Culpepper said he was impressed with Pace’s play in a high-leverage game.
“I thought Brooklyn did a nice job,” Culpepper said. “She had four threes and a couple layups. Freshmen aren’t supposed to do things like that, in a game like this.”
Pace gave Tipton their largest lead of the night, 36-26, in the third quarter with a three from the corner.
Tipton, known for large runs that bury their opponents, could not break free of Stover.
Seconds before the fourth quarter, Bauer earned the biggest crowd reaction of the night with a four-point play from beyond the arc.
Stover (9-7) trailed 36-33 with eight minutes to play.
After trading fouls and free throws for much of the final quarter, the Lady Bulldogs had the final shot. Bauer clanked a 3-pointer, and Destiny Dowell’s last-second heave was short. Teams entered overtime tied at 49.
In overtime, Tipton was 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. Stover was 2-of-4, and managed just one field goal, a Morgan Iman jumper from the elbow.
Tipton limited Uptegrove to three points in the final quarter and overtime.
Stover head coach Ernie Haag said he was proud his team didn’t sacrifice their style of play against a fast-break heavy opponent.
“They’re a run team, and I know they had a couple in there, but we just kept fighting back and fighting back,” Haag said. “They were very balanced tonight, and we’re a pretty balanced team as well. We had a lot of kids step up and make plays, but they just made the better plays in overtime.”
Lyndsi Martin scored 12 points for Tipton and Destiny Dowell added 11.
Stover point guard Ashley Schroder, who finished with four points, left the game in the fourth quarter.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2