By Garth Shanklin
The New Richmond Lions welcomed Ripley to town on Dec. 17 for a pair of varsity basketball contests.
The girls’ teams got things started, with the Lady Lions battling the Lady Jays.
A tight first quarter saw the game tied at 12 with 2:22 left in the period. Ripley ended the quarter on a 6-2 run to take an 18-14 lead into the second period.
The Lady Jays continued their run in the second quarter, scoring 10 of the first 14 points to extend their lead to 28-18 with 3:27 remaining.
New Richmond scored the final four points of the quarter as well as the first four of the third period to cut the lead to 28-26.
Ripley answered again, scoring eight consecutive points to take a 10-point lead with 3:03 remaining. They won the game 38-33.
Anna Hamilton led the Lady Lions in scoring with 10 points. Kacy Gilkerson led Ripley with 12 points.
Shortly after the girls’ game, the boys took the court.
The first quarter started out close, with New Richmond leading 6-4 early. They built on their lead, extending it to 17-6 by the end of the first quarter.
The lead continued to grow. By halftime, the Lions led 42-25. The second half wasn’t much better for Ripley, as the Lions extended their lead to 68-48 en route to their 81-62 victory.
Lane Flamm led the Lions with 14 points and five rebounds. Gage Kramer made his season debut after suffering a knee injury in the fall. Kramer also added 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
New Richmond head coach Brian McMonigle said Kramer nearly debuted against Amelia the night before, but he was held out for precautionary reasons.
“We debated playing him last night [against Amelia],” McMonigle said. “We were rotating him in a few minutes at a time. We’d bring him in for about two minutes, then he’d sit for a while. He’s back way ahead of schedule…he looks good. The knee is extremely strong right now, so we were like, ‘Hey, let’s give it a shot and see how it goes.’”
The Lions were much better at selecting shots against the Blue Jays, according to McMonigle.
“I think that our kids have got some more confidence here recently,” McMonigle said. “We have a lot of kids who are young, who are still learning the game and how to play at the varsity level. I think they’re starting to make that adjustment. They played much more confident tonight, earlier games we’ve been in situations to where we are hesitant to shoot, hesitant to attack. We were not that at all tonight.”
The teams combined for over 50 total fouls in the game. McMonigle said he liked the way his team adjusted to the way the game was being called.
“The second half got a bit rough between the two teams, so the officials started cleaning things up a lot,” McMonigle said. “We had to adjust a bit, and I feel like our kids did a good job maintaining their composure and learning to adjust to the game.”
The Lions travel to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a tournament next week. The team will play three games at the tournament from Dec. 27-29.