Ripley High School girl’s basketball coach Steve Hunt got his 138th career triumph as the head of the Lady Viking basketball ship with a 49-45 conquest of Lincoln County last Wednesday night (January 20) in Hamlin.
The win, Ripley’s seventh in a row, puts Hunt at the top of the all-time girl’s roundball victory list for his alma mater supplanting Ken Swisher from the number one spot. Now in his tenth year at RHS, Hunt owns a career mark of 138 -91.
With the score tied at 10 after the first period, senior Samantha Hatcher stripped the nets for eight of her game and career high 17 points to help her team ease out to a five point halftime advantage.
Hatcher, a 5’ 8” forward, led the hot-shooting Lady Vikes by draining four treys in five attempts on the night while her teammates were going four of eight from beyond the arc as well. Those eight three pointers by the Ripley offense were a season high and proved to be the difference in the Mountain State Athletic Conference contest. Ripley now stands at 9-4.
In addition to her 17 markers, Hatcher also pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds for an impressive double-double. She got scoring help from Ripley’s two recent 1,000 point career scorers, Alannah Sheets and Taylor Wilson. Sheets would finish with 13 points despite Lincoln County’s best efforts with their trick defenses while Wilson popped in an even dozen points despite being saddled with foul trouble throughout most of the game.
“There were two keys to getting Steve this win,” assistant coach Greg Varney noted. “One was that we had just nine turnovers-a season low. Secondly, junior guard Breanna Crook who is only 5”5”, held their leading scorer, 5’ 11” Chelsea Caldwell, to just five points-13 below her average.”
Coach Jodie Melhorn saw her junior varsity team even their season mark at 5-5 with a 47-27 cruise past the LC Lady Panthers in the preliminary tilt. Paige Smith and Bethany Thomas shared scoring honors with nine points each. Jillian Mullins pitched in with seven points, Maddie Ross six, Jordan Hitt six, and Ryne Hill five. Melissa Hughart added three and Breanna Crook two.