NITRO - The Ripley girls' basketball team traveled to Nitro on Thursday night to take on the Lady Wildcats in a Mountain State Athletic Conference fight for seventh place.
The Lady Wildcats had beaten Ripley by 30 points earlier in the season and the girls in blue were determined to have a better showing in this contest.
They did just that.
For Ripley (0-22), it was a chance to find something positive in a season that has been a tough road and has been full of disappointment but high on satisfaction because the entire team, coaches included, realize that the results are not from lack of effort or passion for the game.
Nitro (11-11) has had a season full of highs and lows and head Coach Will Samuel is trying to roll into sectionals on a high note.
The lady Vikings led after a quarter, 11-10 on the strength of juniors Chelsey Hager, Kelli Poling and Sarah Williams. After the half, Nitro had pulled ahead, 27-24.
The girls in blue were within two with three minutes to go but the Lady Cats never relinquished the lead again. The Lady Vikings were saddled with a defeat for the bus ride home.
Ripley coach Justin Frashier was pleased with energy and passion his Ripley girls brought to the court.
"Kelli Poling and Ali Cunningham had their best games of the season last night. Those two flat out play good, sound defense and that is what it takes to be successful."
Ripley was paced by Hager's 14, Williams' had 12, Poling had nine and Kacie Whitney had five.
Nitro was led by Savannah Shamblin's 14.
Ripley traveled to Riverside on February 18 to face the Lady Warriors in their Region 3 sectional matchup. See full coverage in a future edition of JN.