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February 9, 2017 • Sports
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South Ripley Lady Raiders march on after domination of 2017 IHSAA Girls Basketball Sectional #45 competition at Austin

Gary Franklin

Coach Brian Samples and his bench crew that includes Bob Meyer, Andrew Bayne and Shawn Halcomb have proven to be the needed enlightenment to re-ignite the South Ripley Lady Raiders basketball program, not only for the players but for the responsive fan faithful as well. The 22-4 overall record following a sweep of the Class 2A Sectional hosted by and at Austin High School included handily defeating the hosting Austin Lady Eagles by 17 points, 50-33 in the Sectional Championship game on Saturday night Feb. 4.

South Ripley Lady Raider sophomore, Elexah Roepke (35), takes no prisoners in the hand to hand combat during IHSAA Class 2A Girls Basketball Sectional #45 Sectional Championship action at Austin High School against the hosting Austin Lady Eagles.

The six-team IHSAA Class 2A Girls Sectional #45 opened on Tuesday evening Jan. 31 with Austin Lady Eagles rising to victory over the Coach Bob Bressert led Milan Lady Indians by 31, at 62-31. The Lady Indian season was a success in its own right having completed a 10 win season, the best in many years. The second game played that evening found the soon to be champion South Ripley Lady Raiders demolishing their opponent, Switzerland County Lady Pacers led by Coach Ashley Kitts, by 39 at 64-25. Friday night action found the North Decatur Lady Cougars in opening game action at 6 p.m. against hosting Austin Lady Eagles where again the host prevailed but this time by a mere six points, 54-48. Not a huge win, but a win none the less that secured them in the Championship battle on Saturday night.

The South Ripley Lady Raiders followed the lead of Coach Samples, as they marched on their opponent, the Southwestern Hanover Lady Rebels to a 32 point advantage at 60-28 during second game action on Friday night, locking their opportunity for a Saturday evening Sectional Championship bid. Enormous pride was evident as the Lady Raiders managed to gain advantage over the hosting Austin Lady Eagles early on, despite a few hiccups along the way, resulting in a demonstrative upper hand by game’s end with the championship victory by 17 points, 50-33.

The IHSAA Class 2A Regional action on Saturday morning Feb. 11 for the advancing 22-4 South Ripley Lady Raiders pits them at Paoli High School in the 10 a.m. battle against 17-10 Forest Park. Coach Brian Samples is in his sixth year as a head coach with a career record to date of 103-35. Forest Park is led by Tony Hasenour in his first year where he has earned a 17-10 record to his credit. The second slated game to tip off at noon finds the 19-7 Eastern Pekin Lady Musketeers led by Coach Michael McBride in his 10th year with a 141-85 record, hitting the hardwood against the 14-13 South Knox Lady Spartans led by Coach Hollie Anson in her third year with a 33-45 career record to date.

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