CHARLESTON - The Vikings of Ripley traveled to Charleston on a rainy Wednesday night and took down the Cougars of Capital 65-62.
Ripley guard Casy Smith netted 25 points to lead the way for the Vikings and along with Kade Harrison, hit two key free throws down the stretch to seal the deal for Ripley.
For Harrison, it was a historic night. The (6-3) junior became Ripley'sa single-season leader in blocked shots. With 29 this season, Harrison surpasses Kyle Harpold's mark of 28. Harrison is just seven shy of breaking the all-time record of 50.
"I'm excited and blessed that I was able to accomplish the blocks record. I hope to continue to add to it," said Harrison after the game.
Chuck Sleboda, Drew Harpold, Smith and Harrison all scored in the first period as point guard Jacob Haynes dished out two assists in the quarter. The Vikes led after one, 21-10.
The Vikings went 0-for-5 from 3-point range in the second period and found themselves shooting at a 25% clip as Capital caught fire and blistered the nylon for 24 points in the quarter. The Vikes were down 35-31 at the half.
Coach Harmon's crew has played very good defense this season and when the perimeter game is finding more net than iron, the boys in blue become a dangerous basketball team.
Smith, Harrison and Haynes have been penetrating more and when not scoring in the paint themselves, are kicking out to open teammates, keeping opposing defenses honest.
Capital, who was playing without leading scorer Carrington Morris for undisclosed reasons, jumped out to a 41-31 lead early in the third before the Vikings put their foot on the brakes defensively and began to inch their way back.
Two free throws from Chuck Sleboda and a 3-point bomb from wing-man Drew Harpold began Ripley's ascent to victory.
Smith remained hot throughout, canning a remarkable (8-of-8) free throws and hitting (3-of-7) 3-pointers in the game.
Austin Coleman took up some of the slack in the loss of Morris for the Cougars as he hit (10-of-14) from the floor in the game, keeping Capital in the hunt.
Ripley began the final quarter clinging to a slim 51-50 advantage.
With six lead changes in the period, Smith scalded the net with nine points and Haynes dropped in five to inch Ripley closer to victory as Harrison hit a key 3-point shot for the boys in blue.
With eight seconds left, Smith nailed two free throws under pressure to help seal the Cougar's fate and the blue and white rode the Victory Bus home to Jackson County.
For the Vikes, Smith netted 25 and five boards, Harrison 19 and two blocks, Sleboda 10 five boards, Haynes eight, eight assists and three steals and Harpold three.
Page 2 of 2 - In the jayvee preliminary, coach Steve Hunt's crew left the floor with a thrilling 57-56 victory.
With just seconds on the clock, Logan McKinney, who was called up from the freshman squad recently, hit a 12-foot shot to tie the game before Morgan Graves hit a runner in the lane to put the Vikes up by two.
Capital missed a free throw attempt that would have tied the game.
Dylan Hall led all scorers with 24, Austin Parsons eight, Morgan Graves Justin McKown and Luke Layhew six, Cody Bailey three and Wes Withrow two.