Lady Vikings split with Nitro and Winfield

Mark Martin

The number 54 was the winner in a pair of games for the Ripley Lady Vikings.

State-ranked Nitro fended off John Kennedy’s crew for a 54-50 victory.

Two days later, Ripley put up the number to notch a 54-45 decision over Winfield.

The two games moved the season record for the Lady Vikings to 8-7.

Nitro 54-Ripley 50

All-stater Baylee Goins poured in 30 points to help Nitro escape the Ripley Health Center with the win.

“It was a great game to be a part of,” Kennedy said. “The girls gave it their all. To be leading at times in the fourth quarter against the No. 3 team in AAA shows that we can compete with anyone.”

Kennedy had high praise for Goins.

“Hats off to Baylee Goins. She is one of the best offensive threats in the state. When they needed a huge shot, she made it (late in the fourth). It was a great learning experience for our girls. You can simulate all you want to in practice, but that doesn’t even really prepare you until you experience it. That game gave us confidence.”

The win moved Nitro to 12-1 on the season.

Ripley got a team-high 21 from Sophie Nichols in the loss.

McKenna Hall had a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards.

Erin Ryan was also in double figures for Ripley with 10 points.

Corbin Casto finished with four, Ellie Hosaflook had three and Lauren Roush scored two.

Ripley 54-Winfield 45 

Ripley outscored Winfield in every quarter to pick up that eighth win of the season.

Hall was the scoring leader for the Lady Vikings with 19.

Ryan finished with nine, Casto had eight, Roush scored seven and Olivia Greathouse had two.

“When Winfield would get close, our girls stepped up with confidence and knocked down shots,” Kennedy said. “We got huge turnovers and most importantly on the defensive end of the floor.”

The win locked up the No. 2 seed for the Lady Vikings in the upcoming Class AAA sectional. Ripley is set to play Winfield again tonight (Tuesday) at 7 p.m.

“The girls have seen film and see their mistakes on the defensive game plan that they must improve on,” Kennedy said. “I have told our girls a number of times it gets harder to beat teams multiple times. However, we like our chances.”