Tippecanoe boys basketball ready for next challenge

TIPP CITY — Tippecanoe senior guard Ben Knostman described it as long overdue.

The Red Devils will make their first appearance in the D-II boys basketball district finals since 2008 Saturday afternoon.

Tippecanoe, 20-1, will play 14-2 Indian Hills at noon at Trotwood-Madison High School.

Tippecanoe coach Adam Toohey knows the Red Devils are facing their biggest challenge of the season.

“Indian Hills is so good,” Toohey said. “But, it is a district final. It is not going to be easy.”

Tippecanoe’s only loss this season came at the hands of Mason.

The Red Devils are led by the D-II Southwest District Player of the Year Knostman.

The 6-foot-4 guard averages nearly a triple double, with 14.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 2.5 steals.

Zach Frederick, a 6-foot-5 senior, averages 16.8 points and 8.4 rebounds.

The Red Devils are eight deep and the other six all make key contributions.

Junior Cole Coppock averages 10.0 points per game, while junior guards Gavin Garlitz and Griffin Caldwell combine for 15.5 points per game and came up big for Tipp in the district semifinal win over Carroll last Friday.

Seniors Nick Robbins and Gabe Dean and sophomore Stanley Clyne also play key roles for the Red Devils.

One of the keys for Tippecanoe is 3-point shooting.

The Red Devils have made 145 on 379 attempts this year, with five players making more than 10.

Frederick leads the way with 48, while Garlitz has 38.

Tipp averages 69.3 points, while giving up 51.5 points.

Indian Hills, like Tipp, is a conference champion, winning the Cincinnati Hills League.

The team’s two losses this season were to Covington Catholic, Ky. and Wyoming.

The Braves averaged 57.1 points this season, while giving up 45.3 points.

The team is led by 6-2 senior Wyatt Wachs, who averages 14.3 points. 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

Mateo Lopez, a 6-2 senior, averages 13.8 points and 2.4 assists, while 6-4 junior Ty Thornton averages 13.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Luc Robinson, a 6-10 senior, averages 6.4 points and 5.1 rebounds and 6-1 junior Antwan Peck averages 5.4 rebounds.

The Braves rely much less on the 3-point shot, but Lopez has hit 30 on just 75 attempts.

Now, the Red Devils will look to take the next step against their biggest challenge of the season.