RIPLEY - The Ripley High basketball team remembered to bring their shoes, their socks and their uniforms to the Ripley Health Center on a snowy Monday night. Somehow during all of this, the blue crew left their defense at the house as Riverside lit up the scoreboard and cruised to victory, 83-64 in a Mountain State Athletic Conference match-up.
For Ripley (6-12, 2-10 MSAC), prior to the Riverside game, the Vikings stingy defense had only given up sixty plus points four times this season.
Ripley came out of the gate sluggish and Riverside capitalized. The warriors scored the first seven points of the contest and never looked back.
After a second quarter that saw Ripley go on a 20-16 run, Riverside led 37-30 at intermission.
Riverside’s Tyus Wood took over in the third netting 11 points during a 26-16 run for the purple players.
Casy Smith kept the Vikings close with tough, hard points inside off of offensive rebounds and a respectable (3-of-8) from 3-point range. Coach Craig Harmon has called Smith his hardest working player and Smith showed it on this night with a blue-collar effort that would make construction workers proud.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough on this night.
Riverside went to the foul line 26 times and made 18. Ripley only stood at the charity stripe 13 times, making seven. The Vikings have struggled getting to the line this season, which is a characteristic of a perimeter shooting basketball team.
Rebounding, another area of strife for Ripley rang true in this game as well. Ripley was outrebounded 34-25 and the turnover ratio was a virtual draw with Ripley committing 10 and Riverside 11. It was rather pleasing to see sophomores like Dylan Hall and Morgan Graves making contributions to the varsity squad. Along with frosh Luke Layhew and a host of other talented, hard working young hoopsters, the future of Ripley basketball is in good hands. Rest assured, good things are coming.
For the game, Smith finished with 25 for the second straight game, Chuck Sleboda had 10, Drew Harpold eight, Kade Harrison seven, Jacob Haynes seven, Dillon Hall four, Morgan Graves two and Luke Layhew one.
BREAKING NEWS: On Tuesday night, Ripley fought hard but fell to a AAA top 10 ranked Woodrow Wilson team, 74-63. Kade Harrison led all scorers with 21 and 2 blocks, Casy Smith 14, Chuck Sleboda 13, Drew Harpold 11 and Cody Sanders and Luke Layhew had two. The Vikings travel to Parkersburg tonight to take on the Big Reds.