Ripley High bounced back from an unexpected loss to unheralded Nitro last Thursday (January 21) night with a vengeance by knocking off Mountain State Athletic Conference foe Princeton Tuesday night.
The upset setback at Nitro (also a member of the rugged MSAC) snapped a seven game winning streak for the Lady Vikings, but coach Steve Hunt’s crew quickly righted the ship by handling the Tigerettes on their home floor.
After scoring a season low 35 points in the Nitro contest, the RHS offense responded in a big way with a season high 63 markers to subdue Princeton by a final margin of eight points.
The Lady Vikings came out aggressively on the scoring end thanks to the hot shooting of seniors Jerelyn Rothrock and Samantha Hatcher. JRO knocked down a long three and a pull-up jumper early in the first quarter to spark a 16-12 lead.
Hatcher then drained two straight treys to pump up the lead to 22-12 midway through the second period.
Princeton would get no closer than six points at any time during the rest of the night. Two successful tosses at the free throw line from sophomore Paige Smith in the last two minutes helped keep PHS at bay and allowed the Blue and White to up their season mark to 10-5.
Senior Alannah Sheets provided a senior high 29 points for the game including 16 of Ripley’s 18 fourth quarter tallies. She had a trio of long range bombs among five field goals. The 5’10’ point guard was a sizzling 16 of 18 from the charity stripe.
Fellow senior Taylor Wilson added 14 points in a supporting role with Rothrock and Hatcher both finishing the night at eight points.
Smith had a two point basket in addition to her two key foul shots. The rebounding stats showed Wilson and Smith with eight caroms each.
Coach Jodie Melhorn’s junior varsity gang dropped a nip-and-tuck 36-32 preliminary contest with Princeton despite 10 points from Ryne Hill. Smith chipped in with nine points and Jillian Mullins seven for the JV Lady Vikes (now 5-6).
At Nitro in a varsity only tilt, the Lady Wildcats (now 1-10) got 21 points from Olivia McCuskey to stun the Blue and White. Ripley fell behind early in the second frame, and despite a late rally that cut the lead to 34-30, Hunt’s team never found the offensive rhythm they needed to avoid the 45-35 upset.
Wilson had 14 points for RHS and Sheets 11. Hatcher had six points, Rothrock two, and Sarah Welling two.