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March 9, 2017 • Sports
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South Ripley Raiders are 2017 Sectional #45 Champs!

Gary Franklin

The championship game would be all it was cracked up to be and then some, as Raider junior Dillan McQueen opened the game's scoring with a FG after posting up against Milan Indian junior Zac Minnich for the center court tip. Milan Indian senior Blane Beck would give the tribe their first lead in the form of a downtown net popping three-point delivery for the first lead change of the contest.

Pictured left, South Ripley Raider junior (35) Dillan McQueen takes the basketball to the rim for the opening points of the championship game in traffic between Milan Indian senior defender Jordan Burton (4) and junior Indian (13) Zac Minnich.

A charging foul assessed Raider senior Cory Walker led to Indian Jacob Burton driving the court for a layup score. Indian Beck added another FG before Raider Walker rose to deliver his first FG score. With SR trailing 4-7, Indian Zac Minnich nailed a three-pointer, with SR’s McQueen answering with a FG score. Indian Jed Minnich delivered on his three-point attempt, followed by a Raider Walker FG score. Yet another three-point delivery, this one by senior Nate Davis, with just a minute remaining in first period play. With the Raiders trailing 8-16, Indian Zac Minnich would add another FG score before Raider junior Avery Halcomb would culminate the opening period scoring with his FG score and Milan leading by eight, 18-10 SR.

Second Period
One could sense the shock factor going through the SR crowd, as the second period commenced. How did they get to 10 down so quickly? With no apparent white flag flying from the Raider bench, the second period scoring began with a pair of FT connections by SR Zach Pickett. Teammate McQueen completed the old-fashioned, three-point play with his FG/FT combo, closing the gap to a mere three point deficit, 15-18 Milan. Recognition of the tribe scoring came from a senior Blane Beck FG and a FG by senior Jordan Burton, extending Milan’s lead back to seven at 22-15. However, the remaining 3+ minutes of the second quarter scoring would belong solely to South Ripley, gaining a six point, 28-22 advantage before retiring to the locker room for the halftime break. The Raider 13 point consecutive scoring over the last three minutes of the second period included a Zach Pickett FG, a Turner FG, a Halcomb FG, a Walker FG, three-pointer, and 2 FT connections off the Jordan Burton assessed technical foul violation.

Third Period
As quickly as disbelief had set in among the Raider fans over the first period, the Milan faithful were absorbed in the returning Raider scoring to now lead them by six heading into the third. As the third period opened, a Milan Zac Minnich assessed foul was followed by back-to-back fouls assessed to Raider McQueen; however, Raider Pickett was first to add points onto the scoreboard followed by a Raider Walker three-pointer, which gave SR their largest lead of the contest at 11 points, 33-22 over Milan. Not discouraged, the Indians countered as Jacob Burton drove for the FG and added a FT. Blane Beck connected on a pair of FT offerings, after which Raider McQueen scored a FG with Indian Jacob Burton connecting on yet another FG score. Three minutes and 12 seconds remaining in the third period and the tribe had fought back to trail by six at 29-35 SR. A Raider Turner (33) FG and Indian Beck (3) FG would wind up scoring through the third, 37-31

Fourth Period
Cards on the table, only one would eventually claim the 2017 Sectional #45 Championship Title. As action commenced, Milan Indian Zac Minnich scored a FG, Raider Walker countered with FG score. Indian Blane Beck added a FG score, then connected on one of two FT offerings presented, to a mere two-point differential with SR up 39-37 and a little over five minutes remaining. To the Raiders rescue came Derek Turner with a game defining three-pointer followed by teammate Dillon McQueen’s addition of a FG score. Only momentarily, SR is back on top by seven at 44-37 with three minutes remaining in regulation. Indian Jordan Burton bagged a three-pointer from deep, followed by teammate (13) Zac Minnich FG connection reducing the Raider lead to two points at 44-42 with 1:35 remaining. With regulation action reduced to a mere 17 seconds remaining, senior Raider (33) Derek Turner toed the charity stripe where he calmly netted one of his two shots. Shortly thereafter, Raider senior teammate and sectional MVP Cory Walker put the game on ice from the charity stripe with his connection on a pair of FT’s and a five-point margin at SR 47-42 with just 1.8 seconds remaining, thus sealing the deal for the Raiders advancement to Paoli High School hosted Regional action.

South Ripley 10 28 37 47
Milan 18 22 31 42
Individual Scoring
South Ripley Raiders 47

Coach Travis Wrightsman
5 Sr Cory Walker 18
35 Jr Dillan McQueen 11
33 Sr Derek Turner 8
20 Jr Zach Pickett 6
34 Jr Avery Halcomb 4
32 Jr Luke Welch 0

Milan Indians 42
Coach Josh Blankinship

3 Sr Blane Beck 15
13 Jr Zac Minnich 9
22 Jr Jacob Burton 7
4 Sr Jordan Burton 5
2 Sr Nate Davis 3
14 Jr Jed Minnich 3
33 Jr Blake Beck 0

The 2017 IHSAA Class 2 Boys Basketball Sectional #45 Champion South Ripley Raiders advance to Regional action at 10 a.m., Saturday March 11, against the South Knox Spartans.

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