The Pirates of Macks Creek defeated the Tipton Cardinals 55-45 in opening round play of the 77th Annual Tipton Tournament on Tuesday night.
In an evenly matched first half contest that saw both teams play a 2-3 zone defense, the Pirates were able to capitalize on a series of Tipton misplays in the second half to secure the win.
“I think one of the keys to the game was the fact that we had a balanced scoring attack and our guys were able to do a lot of the things we worked on in practice over the last few days,” Mack’s Creek coach Matt McCarthy said after the game.
The team faced Stoutland last Tuesday and McCarthy said they struggled on boxing out.
“We focused a lot on our defense the last few days after our loss last Tuesday,” McCarthy said. “We wanted to finish on defense which meant boxing out and getting the rebounds.
“Offensively I just wanted our guys to run their stuff,” McCarthy added.
Matt Hicks led the Pirates with 19 points. Austin Zollman scored 12 and Cameron Charlton added nine.
“We simply got out hustled tonight,” first year Tipton coach Jacob Watson said. “It came down to a matter of intensity and desire and really who wanted to play more.”
The two teams were tied 9-9 at the end of the first quarter and Mack’s Creek led by three 21-18 at the end of the half.
“We had a lot of chances tonight,” Watson said. “…but, every time we got some momentum we made a silly pass or mistake and they were up by 12 (points) again.”
One key according to Watson was Mack’s Creek managing to pull down most of the rebounds during the game.
“They had six offensive rebounds in the first half alone,” Watson said. “We handed them too many easy points off the boards.”
Noah Turner paced Tipton, with 13 points. Bryant Carpenter and Bryce Sanders each had nine on the night for the Cardinals.
McCarthy said he was very proud of his team after the match-up.
“Our guys got their first win tonight,” McCarthy said. “I think we felt we had something to prove after we got such a low seed in the tournament, especially after we won this last year.”
The Dragons, 1-1 on the season were the seventh seed in the tournament.
Macks Creek will face the winner of the Smithton-Climax Springs game at 9 p.m. on Thursday.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484