Vikings bow out of postseason action with Nitro loss

Mark Martin
Ripley's Luke Johnson (1), Cade Coode (23), Joey Ramsey (14) and Kadin Hall (32) move down the floor in a sectional tournament game against Nitro. The Vikings fell to Nitro to end their season. Johnson led the team in scoring during the 2021 season campaign recording an average of 14.4 points per game.

In the opening eight minutes of play at Nitro’s Alumni Arena, the Ripley Vikings had a two-point lead, 11-9, against the Wildcats.

Thoughts of a road upset in the Class AAA Region IV, Section 1, Tournament would be short-lived as Nitro took the lead in the second quarter and owned it the rest of the night to come away with a 60-42 victory.

“We played well in the first half. We were able to execute on offense and score the ball,” head coach Luke Parsons said. “On the defensive end we made them take shots that we wanted them to take.

“The second half we went through a four-minute spell where we couldn’t put the ball in and they did. That gave them their lead and then they just got on a roll. Our kids played hard, executed the game plan for the most part. Nitro was just the better team tonight.”

The win moved Nitro into a sectional championship game while Ripley’s season came to an abrupt halt with a final record of 8-10.

Nitro’s Trevor Lowe, the son of head coach Chad Lowe, scored 19 in the win with Kolton Painter delivering 16.

Joseph Udoh also was in double figures for the Wildcats with 11.

Freshman Brady Anderson paced Ripley’s offensive attack with 10.

Luke Johnson and Cade Goode each accounted for eight points in what turned out to be the last game of the season.

Senior Kadin Hall ended his Viking basketball playing days with seven.

Joey Ramsey scored three for Ripley while Isaiah Casto and Logan Hash each scored two.

The Vikings were 17-of-47 from the field. Ripley hit just 2-of-15 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

Hall and Ramsey nailed the 3-pointers.

At the free throw line Ripley was 6-of-6.

Nitro was 25-of-54 from the field. From the 3-point line the Wildcats connected on 6-of-23. The red and black made 4-of-8 free throws.

Johnson was Ripley’s top rebounder with five.

Shane Bumpus had three assists and two steals.

Goode also came up with two steals.

“I’m very proud of these guys,” Parsons said. “We didn’t have any returners that played major varsity minutes from last year. They grew up this year and learned a lot. Now, hopefully we can build on that this offseason.”