LAPEL — Tipton's early flurry and the flu bug combined to end Shenandoah's season in a 67-39 loss to the Blue Devils in regional semifinal play here Saturday morning.
The flu kept starting junior Micah Kimball at home instead of on the floor for the Raiders. Then No. 5-ranked Tipton scored the game's first 14 points and Shenandoah couldn't recover.
"Our slow start dictated what we could do," said Shenandoah coach Chelsea Kilian. "I know we missed Micah. She would have given us an extra ball handler. It put some of our players in unfamiliar roles."
Ball handling was an issue for the Raiders, who had 23 miscues, eight of them coming in the opening period.
Tipton senior guard Kacie Juday was another issue. Her 34 points came near matching Shenandoah's team output. Juday wasz equally comfortable hitting outside, inside or at the free throw lane. She had nine points from long range, 13 at the free throw line and 12 from 2-point territory.
Three of the Devils scored all but four of the team's points. Macie Lively, a sophomore, added 16 points and senior Lela Crawford added 13.
The Radiers did have a good second period, getting outscored just 13-10 in that quarter to trail 33-23 at the break. But Tipton pulled away quickly when action resumed at the beginning of the third quarter.
"The first three minutes of the third quarter killed us," said Kilian. Juday scored 10 of the 12 points Tipton collected in the period.
Shenandoah junior Rachel Krathwohl was the player for which the Devils had no answer. Krathwohl hit six of her 10 shots and three of her four free throws for 15 points. Freshman guard Macee Rudy seemed immune to any tourney jitters, scoring eight points, four coming in the opening quarter when not much was going right for her team.
The Devils had just five turnovers and that gave them 18 extra possessions.
Tipton also displayed the ultimate in patience at the end of the third quarter when it held the ball for no shots. Holding a 45-29 lead, the Devils held the ball for over a minute and then purposely did not attempt a shot as time expired.
Though distraught about the defeat, Kilian was upbeat about the season and the promise of the future. The Raiders have no seniors and just three juniors on the regional roster.
"I'm very proud of this team," said Kilian. "We went from 6-15 last year to 16-5 this year. If they had dediciation and work hard between now and next year, we should be very good."