SR girls claim ORVC lead, Pride Trophy
PHOTO BY LORI SAMPLES
South Ripley and Jac-Cen-Del squared off on Tuesday night in a battle of unbeaten teams inside Ohio River Valley Conference play. The Lady Raiders needed a win to stay out in front of the conference standings and the Lady Eagles needed a victory to claim at least a share of the conference prize.
In the end, defense again prevailed for South Ripley and for the second time this season, the Lady Raiders laid claim to an upset over its county and conference rival, besting Class A No. 6 Jac-Cen-Del 34-30 in Versailles.
The victory puts South Ripley in sole possession of first place in the ORVC with a 4-0 record and drops Jac-Cen-Del into a two-way tie for second place with Switzerland County at a 4-1 mark. Also now in the Lady Raiders’ possession is the Ripley Publishing Pride Trophy, marking the first time since 2018 that Jac-Cen-Del has been without the trophy.
In terms of tempo, the game played out much like South Ripley’s first win over Jac-Cen-Del in the Ripley County Tournament Championship earlier this month, one that resembled a slow down that favored the Lady Raiders all night. But in terms of scoring, both teams found themselves desperate for buckets.
Jac-Cen-Del led 7-6 at the first stop but South Ripley’s defense began its official clamp down in the second quarter, holding the visitors from Osgood to only three points in the frame and doing enough on the offensive end to take a 14-10 edge into halftime. The Lady Eagles opened the second half still ice cold from the field and was held to just two points until late in the third period, but even six points added on still had the Lady Raiders on top by a 23-18 score.
Both teams shook free in the final stanza for a flurry of buckets to make the game interesting all the way to the end. Jac-Cen-Del spent much of the fourth quarter trimming the contest down to a lone possession but almost any shot late seemed off the mark or altered by South Ripley’s defense. The Lady Raiders found enough open shots on their end to negate the surge and finished the game off with a couple of clutch free throws down the stretch to hold on for the four point win.
Clutch on both ends of the floor was South Ripley senior Gracie Gunter who celebrated her Senior Night by leading all scorers with 17 points while also helping anchor the defense. Rachel Meyer, also part of that defensive scheme, used her lengthy frame on offense as well, adding eight points to the cause. Katelynn Samples also finished with eight points while Emily Flood scored one point.
Samples led the rebounding efforts with 10 boards, Gunter had seven rebounds, Rachel Meyer and Alexa Heidt each had five boards and Sarah Meyer collected four boards off the glass. That trio joined Gunter in being recognized as senior basketball players on Tuesday.
The Lady Eagles were led by Annabelle Williams, Aundrea Cullen and Reagan Hughes with six points apiece. Desiree Sparks and Reese Obendorf scored four points each while Jalee Rider and Emma Newhart each had two points.
South Ripley (13-8, 4-0 ORVC) heads to Vevay tonight for a big conference game against Switzerland County (16-5, 4-1 ORVC). A win by the Lady Raiders gives them at least a share of the conference title but a loss opens up the possibility for a three-way tie for first place in the ORVC that would include the Lady Pacers.
Jac-Cen-Del (16-6, 4-1 ORVC) could be one of those teams in the tie should they defeat Southwestern (Hanover) tonight on the road.