“This was the toughest opener in my coaching career.”

 “This was the toughest opener in my coaching career.”

  The speaker was Jon Kennedy, who is now in his fourth season as the head coach for Ripley High girls basketball.

   In the home opener with PikeView last Thursday night, his Lady Vikings showed plenty of toughness in coming away with a 62-53 win.

  Seniors Lexi Miller and Presley Fisher paced the offensive attack for Ripley with 28 and 18 points, respectively.

  Miller knocked down six 3-pointers in the win while Fisher was 10-of-13 at the free throw line.

 “We are extremely thankful for our two senior leaders – Lexi and Presley,” Kennedy said. “They were the difference in the game with their leadership on the floor.”

  PikeView outscored Ripley in the opening quarter, 16-12, before the Lady Vikings came back in the second to get things evened at the break, 27-27.  

 The Lady Vikings took control of the game in the third quarter with a 19-9 edge.  

  Shiloh Bailey scored 16 to lead the Lady Panthers from Mercer County.  

  “This is the best team our program has had in the last seven or eight years,” Kennedy said.    “All of them want to be here for the right reasons, the team, the school and community.  

  “It was relaxing to see Taylor run the show for us on offense and defense. Those three (Miller, Fisher and Kennedy) are going to be a tough trio to match up against. Katlyn waited patiently for her time and she shined like a diamond when she got her opportunity. She helped spark our run in the third quarter to take the lead.”

  Ripley (1-0) plays game two of the season  tonight  (Tuesday) at home against Capital.