SR and Batesville girls win county tourney openers
PHOTO COURTESY OF RICH FOWLER
The 49th Annual Ripley County Girls Basketball Tournament will get a championship rematch from a year ago as both South Ripley and Batesville punched tickets to Friday night’s title tilt after scoring opening round wins on Tuesday at Jac-Cen-Del.
Batesville, the defending champion, will be looking for back-to-back titles for the first time since stringing together three-straight from 2013-2015. South Ripley is seeking its first since 2022.
Milan knew it had a roster ready to make a county tourney run on Tuesday night in the opening round but South Ripley’s tournament experience paid off in the end as the Lady Raiders survived the Lady Indians by a 37-28 final score. South Ripley led just 25-21 through three quarters as part of a low-scoring affair but pulled away using a 12-7 spurt in the final eight minutes.
South Ripley had led 14-4 early before Milan embarked on its comeback attempt. The Lady Indians cut the deficit by a point in the second frame and pulled within two possessions using a 9-4 third quarter run.
Reese Obendorf lifted the green and white in the fourth quarter with seven points and finished leading all scorers at 13 points. Lexi Franklin added six of her nine points in the second half and Lydia Cornett put in seven points with five of those points coming as part of South Ripley’s early stranglehold. Milan got a team-high 11 points apiece from Emma Voss and Kaiya Rinear.
In the nightcap of the opening round, Class A No. 8 Jac-Cen-Del and Batesville battled back and forth in the first half before the Lady Bulldogs used a 35-22 edge in the final two quarters to pull away from the host Lady Eagles by a 55-45 final.
After trailing 15-14 at the first stop, Jac-Cen-Del’s 9-5 second quarter run allowed the home team a 23-20 halftime advantage. Batesville came right back in the final 16 minutes and could not be stopped on offense. The Lady Bulldogs got back on top with a 22-12 run and finished the night on a 13-10 spurt to advance to the county championship game.
Three Batesville players scored in double figures, led by Alyson Peters with 16 points. Freshman Kaylin Kathman made her county tourney debut and scored 14 points with 12 of those points coming from the three-point line while junior Lydia Haskamp totaled 10 points. Jac-Cen-Del saw Reagan Hughes with a team-high 16 points which included five 3-pointers and Kaylin Hinners scored 11 points in the loss.
Friday night action at Jac-Cen-Del starts with a matchup between the host Lady Eagles and Milan in the consolation game at 6 p.m. That matchup will be followed by the championship clash between South Ripley and Batesville.