HURRICANE - You could call it a tale of two halves or even pull the “two halves make a whole” card to effectively make a point. Either way, the Ripley basketball squad looked like two different teams playing 16 minutes of basketball a-piece as the Blue Crew fell on the road to Hurricane, 81-58.
Ripley played its best basketball in the second period as Drew Harpold led a Viking charge that saw the squad carve away an early nine-point deficit and trail 35-34 at intermission. Center Luke Layhew hit for five points in the quarter and senior Wingman Harpold canned two treys to ignite the early rally.
Just as the Vikings did versus a hot shooting Winfield team in their opener last week, the Vikings struggled to contain Redskin sharp shooter John Dawson who connected on 5-of-8 treys and finished with 23 points.
In the end it was post-man Henry Sorsaia that did most of the damage in the paint for Hurricane. He notched a double-double with 25 points and 12 boards.
Ripley’s own man in the middle Luke Layhew had his best game of his young career. The 6-foot-6 paint prowler logged 19 points and seven boards on an efficient 8-of-10 shooting. (That is 80 percent for the mathematically challenged)
The Vikings shared the ball on this night, led by point guard Jamison Hunt’s eight dishes.
The second half was a disaster for Ripley. The Vikes were outscored 46-24, much due to the hot hands of Dawson and Sorsaia and lackluster defense by the Vikings.
“I think we got tired in the second half,” said Coach Craig Harmon. “It’s hard for the kids to be consistent when we have a seven day or so layoff between games in December. When we get into the heart of our schedule in January, I look for us to get better results."
He added, “The kids are working hard for us.”
Starting junior guard Justin McKown has been hampered by a sore ankle and should be back on the court by Monday. McKown is one of the team’s better defenders.
It wasn’t that Ripley was shooting terribly as a team, they hit a mediocre 21-of-49 for a 42.9 percent clip and were reasonably close in the rebound battle, losing it 35-27.
The Vikings are working to shore up some early defensive woes and cut down on turnovers. They committed 18 on Wednesday.
For Ripley, Kade Harrison netted 11 and six assists, Drew Harpold had nine and two assists, Chase Johnson and Jamison Hunt netted six each, Logan McKinney had three and Dylan Hall and Morgan Graves notched two.
Ripley gets a break over Christmas before competing in a tournament at Sissonville on December 27.
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