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March 2, 2017 • Sports
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Ripley County guys get it done
South Ripley, Milan advance to Round 2 Sectional #45 action

Gary Franklin

Hosting South Ripley Raider action opened the 2017 IHSAA Class 2A Boys Basketball Sectional #45 against the Austin Eagles. There is something especially stirring when Raiders meet Eagles, even if the Eagles are from Austin! The 6 p.m. onset found SR getting off to a rigorous start collecting the first nine points of the contest behind scoring by Avery Halcomb’s FG, a Cory Walker FG, an Avery Halcomb three-pointer and a Dillan McQueen FG, forcing an Austin timeout at the 3:20 mark of period one.

Eagle senior Connor Smith broke the scoring ice for Austin with a pair of FT scores off the called foul on Raider Luke Welch; however, Welch responded with a FG score of his own. Senior Raider Derek Turner scorched the net with his first FG score, followed by back to back FG scores by the Eagles. At 13-6, Raider Zach Pickett and Walker added FG scores to carry their lead off the court at the end of the first period, 17-6.

Second period
The game was getting ready to blow wide open, and did soon after second period action got underway. Austin scored, McQueen and Pickett each netted FG scores. Austin scored a three-pointer, Walker netted a FG score for 23-11. Austin consecutively added three FG scores, a pair of FT scores, a FG/FT combination and two more FG’s for a 26-23 lead at the halftime break, while collecting to called fouls on Raider Cory Walker who had to sit much of the second period.

Third period
Returning to action Raider Walker netted a FG score, only to have it countered by an Austin Eagle three pointer. Raider McQueen scored a FG, followed by senior Derek Turner’s taking advantage of an old-fashioned, three-point FG/FT combination opportunity, putting SR back in front 30-29. Walker connected on another FG score, only to have Austin deposit a three pointer to knot the game at 32. Walker was assessed his third foul at the 3:48 mark. SR teammates McQueen and Pickett each added FG scores, ending third period scoring with the Raiders up by four, 38-34.

Fourth period
Raider Walker opened the final period scoring with a FG; however, the Austin response was a FG/FT combination. McQueen scored a FG, the Eagles countered and called for the time-out, Raiders 42-39 Austin, with 3:44 remaining in regulation. Raider Pickett hit one of two FT’s attempted, then added a FG score. A Raider McQueen FG score set the edge at eight, 47-39, and it was feeling like victory for South Ripley; however, Austin connected on back to back FG scores. Raider Walker nailed a pair of FT’s for SR, leading to a Coach Travis Wrightsman time-out. An Austin FG score with just under a minute remaining, cut the SR edge once again to four at 49-45. With 24.1 seconds remaining, Raider Walker made one of two FT offerings. Austin countered with a FG/FT score of the Pickett foul under the basket, 50-48. Walker added the final scoring of the game, SR 52-48 and secured the ball to close out the contest.

The South Ripley Raiders advance to round two at 6 p.m. Friday night when they will face the Southwestern Hanover Rebels.

For game stats see page 5 of The Versailles Republican. For more local school sports see pages 5 and 6.

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