“It’s even better because we won,” Ripley High School senior Alannah Sheets said immediately after her team’s 56-49 Monday night (January 18) victory over highly regarded Cabell Midland and her 1,000th career point as a Lady Viking.


“It’s even better because we won,” Ripley High School senior Alannah Sheets said immediately after her team’s 56-49 Monday night (January 18) victory over highly regarded Cabell Midland and her 1,000th career point as a Lady Viking.

That monumental score came on the second of two free throws with 6:30 left on the game clock. More importantly, it gave the home team a 35-34 lead over the Lady Knights. Coach Steve Hunt’s gals would never trail from that point on as Sheets would score 11 fourth quarter points on her way to a game-high 21 markers and a place in the RHS elite 1,000 point club.

Senior teammate Taylor Wilson, who gained entry to the mythical group that now numbers eight in last Saturday night’s win over Sissonville, came up with 15 points in a solid supporting role.

“I have to admit that I was nervous the whole game,” Sheets said in her usual soft-spoken manner when talking about the chore of getting to that 1,000 point level. “I knew I only needed 12 points, but after the way we all struggled in the first half, I was a bit concerned that it might not happen. I really wanted to do this in a home game. We are on the road for a while after this, so I just felt I had to do it.”

In a foul-plagued and turnover-filled first half, neither team could find any offensive rhythm, but the home teamers managed a late spurt at the end of the second quarter, thanks to three points from Sarah Welling and a looping three pointer by Samantha Hatcher, to take a slim 23-20 lead into the locker room at the half. Sheets had seven first half points and Wilson six.

The third quarter was back-and- forth, but Midland did grab a one point lead heading into that final frame. It would be their last advantage thanks to Sheets and her fourth quarter scoring heroics.
“I couldn’t help thinking about it,” Sheets admitted after standing at 10 points heading into the last eight minutes. “So many people knew what was going on. When I got fouled early there in the last quarter, I knew that if I could make both free throws, I was in. I put in a lot of time in practice with that part of my game. The first one seemed to go in pretty easily, and when I made that second one, I was pretty pleased.”

So was the partisan Lady Viking crowd on hand to witness Sheets historic score as they all rose to their feet for the slender 5’10” point guard. “I heard them, and I hope they know how much I appreciate it. It hasn’t really set in yet what Taylor and I have done. I’m sort of numb right now. I sure didn’t think about scoring this many points when I started playing middle school basketball in sixth grade. I really just want to do whatever it takes for us to keep winning games.”

This win, Ripley’s sixth in a row, ups their season log to 8-4 heading into a trio of road contests at Lincoln County (January 20), Nitro (January 21), and Princeton (January 26).

A look at the final numbers against Midland shows the Lady Vikes with 36 rebounds (11 by Wilson and 10 by Hatcher for her second double digit rebounding game in a row), five blocked shots (four by Wilson), and seven assists (four by Sheets and three by Hatcher). As a team, the locals were 12 of 42 from the field for (36%). They committed 22 turnovers, but only two in that 23-15 scoring run over the last stanza.

Hatcher finished with six points while Paige Smith added five and Jerelyn Rothrock four. Welling had those three key second quarter tallies and Breanna Crook knocked in a pair of free throws.
The junior varsity Lady Vikes came up two points short in a 31-29 preliminary affair with the CMid JV crew.

Smith had nine points in one quarter of action. Jillian Mullins followed with eight. Paige Barr and Bethany Thomas chipped in with four points apiece. Maddie Ross and Melissa Hughart each had two points.