RIPLEY - Hurricane High School guard Abby Watson showed the Ripley Health Center crowd why she is a Class AAA All State selection.

Watson’s inside/outside game and tenacious defense led Hurricane (5-3) to a hard fought Mountain State athletic Conference victory over Ripley, 62-54.

Watson slashed to the bucket with a reckless abandon, drawing fouls from Ripley while going 18-for-22 from the charity stripe.

Ripley (3-7) was coming off of a loss to Huntington and was looking to get their footing once again. The blue and white fought hard throughout the contest as the Lady Vikings dove for loose balls and labored for second chance buckets in the paint.

Down 22-16 with 5:47 left in the first half, Ripley’s Emily Oldham stood on the wing and took a sharp pass from Chelsey Hager, who was being pressed at mid-court.

Oldham confidently launched a trey over the outstretched hands of Watson and brought the lady Vikings to within three points when the shot touched nothing but nylon.

Hurricane then went on a 7-0 run and led at the half, 34-23.

In the fourth period, led by Sarah Williams, Ripley pulled to within four points but could not erase the deficit.
Williams has developed a serious outside presence for Ripley. The senior forward has forced opponents to respect her outside shooting prowess while being aware that she can take the ball to the bucket, making No. 42 a dual threat with the ball.

Hurricane hit 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory for the Lady Redskins.

“I am proud of the girls for playing hard and representing Ripley High School with such class. The problem is, that isn’t enough. We have to make our layups and quit making silly passes. Ripley athletes need to realize that this is only half of what it takes to win our conference. You have to work in the off season, play smart, know your role and do your job,” said Coach Justin Frashier after the game.

Sarah Williams led Ripley with 22 and Emily Oldham added 11.