Vikings take down Devils for a second time in 2021

Mark Martin
Special to the Jackson Herald
Ripley's Luke Johnson has been stellar throughout the 2021 season. In a recent game with Ravenswood he scored 17 points, had six rebounds, five assists, four blocks and a steal. Johnson and the Vikings are slated to meet Nitro tomorrow, Wednesday, in a Class AAA sectional game.

It was a “BIG” game.

Ravenswood vs. Ripley always is.

Pick any athletic event involving the red and black from the northern side of Jackson County against the royal blue and white from the southern section and the word “BIG” is being tossed around, no matter the records of the teams involved.

The outcome of a second meeting of the season between the boys basketball teams from the rival schools was decided in part due to the play of the “BIGS.” As in Ripley’s “BIG” men.

In a game staged inside the Ripley Health Center, Luke Johnson, Joey Ramsey and Brady Anderson all played “BIG” against the Runnin’ Red Devils ... especially in the second half, and that would spell out a “BIG” victory to the tune of 67-50. 

The win moved Ripley to 7-9 with Ravenswood falling to 10-6.

“In the second half, Johnson and Anderson and Ramsey dominated us,” said Ravenswood veteran head coach Mick Price.

Johnson scored 17 in the win to pace the Viking offensive attack, which featured four players in double figures.

Anderson had 13 and Ramsey scored 11.

Freshman guard Cade Goode had another solid game for the Vikings with a 13-point effort.

Ravenswood owned the advantage at the end of the first quarter, 17-15, before Ripley took a 26-25 edge into the locker room at halftime.

The Vikings distanced themselves from the Devils in the third by outscoring Ravenswood, 24-14. The Vikings finished with 17 in the fourth to Ravenswood’s 11.

“We came out slow and took some quick bad shots early in the game,” Ripley head coach Luke Parsons said afterwards. “Ravenswood came with energy and executed in the first half.”

In the third quarter, Parsons felt his team came into its own to pull away.

“After halftime we finally got in the right spots on our press. We sped them up and created turnovers or quick shots, which in turn got us some easy looks on the offensive end.”

Price was pleased with his team’s play in the first half, especially when Ripley had possession of the basketball.

“I thought our kids did a pretty good job in the first half defensively,” Price said. “We missed many opportunities to score and put ourselves in a position to be in a better position in the game. We missed some wide-open 3-pointers. We also missed some key free throws.

“We just didn’t shoot the ball very well combined with their post guys killing us.”

Johnson made six field goals in the game and was a perfect 5-for-5 at the free throw line. He also had six rebounds, five assists, four blocks and a steal.

Anderson was 5-of-6 from the field and hit 3-of-4 free throws. He had two rebounds.

Ramsey was 5-of-7 from the field, including a 3-pointer. Ramsey had nine rebounds for a third straight game.

Of Goode’s 13 points, nine came from behind the arc as he hit all three of his 3-point attempts. He also hit both of his free throws. Goode finished with four rebounds.

Isaiah Casto scored six points while Kadin Hall added four. Logan Hash hit a 3-pointer to round out Ripley’s scoring.

Ripley was 26-of-53 shooting from the floor and 10-of-14 at the line.

“We were really balanced on the offensive end,” Parsons said. “We crashed the offensive boards the second half and got some nice putbacks off of missed shots.

“It all started when we picked up our intensity on the defensive end. We also took care of the ball and only had four turnovers.”

Ravenswood turned it over 11 times on the night.

Ripley outrebounded Ravenswood, 38-24.

Matthew Carte was the top scorer for the Devils with 16. Logan Alfred was also in double figures with 11, including three from behind the 3-point arc.

Blake Ball had eight in the game, Shawn Banks scored seven, Beau Bennett finished with five and Drew Hunt added three.

Hunt and Bennett knocked down Ravenswood’s other two shots from the 3-point line. Ravenswood attempted 21 in the game.

Ravenswood was 19-of-43 from the field for the night and 7-of-12 at the free throw line.

Carte had six off the glass for Ravenswood and Ball pulled down five.

Alfred had two steals and a pair of blocks while Banks dished out two assists.

Both Ripley and Ravenswood were scheduled for one final game of the regular season last Thursday against Sissonville and Braxton County, respectively, before sectional play begins.

Ripley, as the No. 4 seed, will open tomorrow, Wednesday, at No. 1 seed Nitro in a Class AAA Region IV, Section 1 contest. Ripley lost twice this season to the Wildcats.

Ravenswood, meanwhile, as the No. 2 seed, will be hosting No. 3 seed Roane County tomorrow, Wednesday, in the Class AA Region IV, Section II game. The winner will play at Charleston Catholic on Friday night. Ravenswood and Roane split during the regular season.

In the junior varsity game Ripley stormed past Ravenswood, 87-42.

Dylan Casto had a game-high 20 for Ripley. Elijah Miller scored 14, Parker Boyd had 12, Garrett Rhodes finished with 11 and Virgil Myers also cracked double figures with 10.

Hayden Shockey and Andrew Anglin each scored 12 to pace Ravenswood offensively. Cameron Taylor was also in double figures with 11. Zane Balis scored four and Blake Bibbee contributed three.