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Apollo-Ridge shows depth to hold off West Shamokin

| Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014,

Tre Tipton put his team in front, and his Apollo-Ridge teammates handled business in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings got 17 points from Tipton before he left the game with a shoulder injury, and Apollo-Ridge picked up a Section 1-AA win at West Shamokin, 57-44, in a battle of one-loss teams Friday night.

Alex Smith scored 11 points, and Dom Schrecengost had 10 for Apollo-Ridge (11-1, 3-1).

Zane Clowser and Zac Horner scored 10 each to lead West Shamokin (9-2, 1-2).

Tipton was putting on a dominant all-around performance with six rebounds, five steals and a dunk over a pair of defenders in the third quarter. But early in the fourth quarter, he went down clutching his shoulder after a collision on a loose-ball play and did not return.

His teammates more than picked up the slack, as they protected a lead that was 15 points when Tipton left the game and was 13 when the final horn sounded.

“It was absolutely lovely to see that it's not just me, it's the whole team,” Tipton said. “That fourth quarter showed that my teammates have my back at any point in time, and I have faith in them.”

“Tre gets a lot of attention at our school, and I told our guys this was their time to shine a little bit,” Apollo-Ridge coach Matt Gourley said. “They did, and I'm proud of them.”

West Shamokin cut the lead to nine with 3:51 to play and had a chance to draw closer before Smith came up with a steal and layup. The Wolves never got within single digits again, as Apollo-Ridge sealed it with inside hoops and foul shots.

“We had a 3-point play set up,” West Shamokin coach Mike Nagy said. “If we execute that, and Zane knocks it down, we cut it to six with three minutes to play. Smith made a nice play, stole it and went down and scored, and that's as close as we got.”

Apollo-Ridge ended the first quarter on an 8-0 run for a 17-11 advantage.

The biggest edge for the Vikings came in the form of 13 steals, which allowed them to get out in transition and tack on some easy baskets.

“I know the way Coach Mike likes to play, and I don't want to play that way. I want to get up and down, and we have the athletes to do it,” Gourley said. “He has a heck of a team over there, and they're great, disciplined kids, so to get a win in this gym is great.”

The Wolves held Apollo-Ridge to 22 points in the second half, but their inability to get points off of defensive stops was their undoing.

“We have to do things the right way. We have to be fundamental, and we got outside of ourselves,” Nagy said. “That's what good teams do, they make you play a little faster and more out of control than you want to.”

As for Tipton, Gourley said he expects to have him back for the team's next game, and the junior guard was hopeful his coach is right.

“That's sports,” Tipton said. “Injuries come and go, and hopefully, I'll be back working hard next week.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mgrubba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.

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