Tecumseh got off to a fast start with an 8-0 run and never lost that lead as they claimed the third place trophy with a 53-42 win.

Third place games are important. After an opening round win, you don't want to lose that momentum by losing the last two games in a tournament.

In the First United Bank Classic in Bethel, the third place game on the boys' side took on more importance since it featured two rival schools.

Tecumseh got off to a fast start with an 8-0 run and never lost that lead as they claimed the third place trophy with a 53-42 win.

"You have to play three games in three days with no time to practice or let things marinate," first-year Tecumseh coach Aaron Daniels said. "You can have a hangover from a win and you certainly can from a big loss. Our guys responded in a veteran-type fashion tonight."

Daniels said the 8-0 run to start the game was important because his team knows that both teams will make runs and the Savages wants to strike first.

The Wildcats were able to cut the lead to 10-6 by the end of the first period. It was obvious that this was a rivalry game and not just a third game of a tournament with the intensity and chippiness of the play. The refs called 11 fouls in the first quarter alone and there were many warnings given.

Tecumseh built a 29-16 lead at the half and the Savages seemed ready to pull away.
After a Bethel free throw, Devin Acklin hit a three and Drae Wood stole the inbounds pass and made a layup to cut the lead to 29-22.

The Savages answered with a 9-0 run of their own thanks in part to five straight from Kainan Ryan.

But Bethel pushed back with a three by Wood and an Acklin free throw. Then Acklin banked in a shot from halfcourt to end the third quarter with the Wildcats only trailing 38-31 with a lot of wind in their sails.

Parker Hall hit a three-pointer early in the final frame for Bethel to cut the lead to 40-34 but Tecumseh went back inside where they had been having success all night. Edward Carey, who had eight points and eight rebounds, scored four straight to extend the lead back to double digits at 44-34.

"He (Carey) and Alex (Schovanec) are big guys, not guys who play big but guys with big bodies that play like big men," Daniels said. "Today we got productivity out of those big guys. They were active and moving their feet. They rebounded with intent and we even got scoring out of them tonight."

Acklin and Gage Porter helped cut the lead down to 45-40 late. But when Bethel was forced to stop the clock with fouls, Jacob Green was clutch - hitting seven of eight free throw attempts to help the Savages win.

Green led all scorers with 18 points. Anthony Billy added 12 for the Savages. Wood led Bethel with 11 points. Acklin and Wood added nine each.

"We had a cushion and we played well tonight," Daniels said. "We were able to keep ourselves a safe distance ahead and were able to win."

If you missed the first installment of Tecumseh at Bethel, you are in luck. Tecumseh returns to Bethel Tuesday night for a rematch.