RIPLEY - Taking a 21-point loss in your home opener to a supposed "middle of the pack" conference foe is a tough pill to swallow. The Viking hoopsters will have to put the speed bump in the rear view mirror and leave this one behind.
Winfield (2-0) was coming off of a 50 plus point thrashing of Lincoln County (0-3) who by all accounts, are not competitive this season on the hardwood. The Vikes (1-1) were coming off of a victory over a solid Point Pleasant team earlier in the week that is getting it's feet wet in AAA competition after making the jump from AA this school year.
The Generals pressed the Vikes into turnovers and were able to keep Ripley shooting jump shots all night long as the blue and white rarely attacked the basket and more than once, pulled up for jump shots in transition. Ripley only attempted six free throws and missed four of them.
Winfield on the other hand was challenging Viking defenders off the dribble and driving to the hole where they drew 22 foul shot attempts and drained 15 of them.
Coach Craig Harmon's Vikings looked tougher than a hungry bear in the first period when they held an 18-15 advantage on the strength of hot hands by Drew Harpold and Kade Harrison. Somewhere, somehow in the middle of the second period the wheels came completely of the wagon.
The generals Chris Turner was everywhere on defense and led a takeover with second effort put backs on misses from his teammates. The Vikes were outscored 15-6 in the second as they missed five shots in the final 120 seconds of the half and went to intermission down 30-24.
Harrison blocked an astonishing five shots on the night and could have had six but got a little too much skin on a rejection in the early seconds of the third period.
The Vikings missed all eight of their shot attempts in the third period and were outscored 12-1.
At this point Ripley was down 42-25 and after a 12-8 Winfield run in the final period was turned away on this night at Ripley Health Center.
Winfield outrebounded Ripley 43-35. The Generals picked Viking pockets 11 times with Ripley tallying three. The blue and white shot 27 percent from the field and were an abysmal 3-of-19 on 3-point attempts.
For the game, Kade Harrison led with nine points and five blocks, Chuck Sleboda netted seven and ten rebounds, Drew Harpold had six, Casy Smith had five, Jacob Haynes five and Josh Chancey one.
Winfield had three players in double figures and were led by Chris Turner's 16.