One of the keys when playing against a good team is getting off to a fast start.

Tippecanoe hosted West Liberty Salem last week, a team who came into Pat Wampler Gymnasium unbeaten on the year, and while their start was anything but fast, their finish was perfect.

The Red Devils watched as WLS jumped out to a nine-point lead after one period, but thanks to an outstanding offensive performance from junior Allison Mader, knocked the Tigers out of the undefeated ranks with a 52-45 win.

Mader led all scorers with 32 points and scored the final nine points of the game for the Red Devils, allowing them to open up the game in the final 2:50 to earn the win.

“It was an incredible win and definitely a good team effort,” Mader said. “We knew they were undefeated and we knew we would have to have a good team effort to win. We played solid all the way through didn’t take a minute off.”

Mader opened the game with a three which seemed to set the tone for what she was about to do. Cali Stewart also scored early as Tipp led 5-3 two minutes into the game.

West Liberty Salem was looking to control the game in the opening period, as they put together a 8-0 run behind Lily Yoder and Mikalia McIntosh as they led 11-5 with three minutes left.

Tipp never wavered, as Taylor Prall and Stewart hit 3-4 from the free throw line and the Red Devils kept the deficit into single digits after the opening period 17-8.

The Tigers maintained their lead and actually reached double figures with 5:41 left in the half, pushing their advantage to 25-13 before Tipp’s defense stepped up.

Being held to only one layup over the five minutes, the Tigers watched as Tipp came storming back behind Prall and Mader. The senior Prall scored at the rim to cut the deficit to ten, then Mader reeled off seven consecutive points including a pair of threes, as Tipp only trailed at the half 28-25.

After outscoring the Tigers 13-7 in the third period to take a 38-35 lead heading to the fourth, Tipp looked to close out the Tigers with a solid eight minutes.

Prall hit a big three early in the quarter, and added a free throw with 3:25 left to give Tipp a 43-42 lead before Mader went on her game-ending run to seal the win.

“I knew in a game like this, I needed to step up, so I tried to attack the basket as much as possible,” Mader said. “Toward the end I knocked down some free throws which helped us. It was just a good team effort.”

Mader admitted that last year’s loss at West Liberty played in the mind of her teammates as they wanted a chance at redemption.

“I think we used that as motivation tonight, since we only lost by three last year at their place,” she said. “This was a big win for us.”

Prall added 12 points in the win for Tipp, while for the Tigers, Yoder had 13, Hollar 12 and McIntosh scored seven.

*Also last week, the Red Devils cruised past Troy 46-29 behind 16 points from Stewart and 12 from Mader. The Red Devils dominated the first half of play, leading 27-4 at the half and advanced to the league win.

Tipp is back in action this week tonight as they host Xenia at 7:30, then travel to Springboro on Saturday for what will be a big test for the both teams.