ASHLAND NIPS RIPLEY 64-61 IN TOURNAMENT
By Todd Vinyard
ECRU Frequent dental visits can provide more than just fewer cavities.
Trailing 61-60 with 15 seconds left Ashland coach Jon Ginn used an inbounds play he picked up from a dentist.
Ashland’s Tareyton Mason threw the ball in to Quent Gillespie who hit a layup and was fouled. Ashland (13-4) edged Ripely (10-5) for a 64-61 win in the North Pontotoc Invitational.
“To tell the truth that is a play I got from a dentist,” Ginn said. “He told me this inbounds play would score 10 points a game. We have used it for two years, and it works.”
Ashland’s win was one of four games played Thursday night in the tournament.
After the perfectly executed inbounds play, Gillespie yanked down a critical rebound and sealed the game with two free throws.
“You can’t get nervous, because then you will tense up and miss,” Gillespie said.
Ashland led 13-8 after the first quarter, and was leading before the first half ended. But that is when Ripley’s Brad Vernor, who scored a game-high 24 points, performed one of many brillant moves.
As Ripley ran the clock down, Vernor drove to the basket and found Burt Miller, who scored for a 26-25 Ripley halftime lead.
“Brad can make a lot of things happen,” Ripely head coach Barry Goolsby said. “This was a close ball game. We have won some of these lately and we lost one tonight.”
Ashland came out pressing in the third quarter. The Blue Devils caused four turnovers to take a 31-26 lead. Ashland led by four going into the final quarter.
Ripley came within one point three times before tying the game at 55-55. Tiger Shermaine Rucker, playing in his first game since severely spraining an ankle, converted a three-point play and Ripley led 58-55 with 2:40 left.
“We had some foul trouble, and Gillespie was playing with four fouls,” Ginn said. “But I am very proud of these kids for hanging in.”
Gillespie led the way for Ashland with 18 points, Mason and Leon Crawford had 13 each, and Tavares Reaves chipped in 10. For Ripley, Maine Rodgers had 10 points.
(G) Lafayette County 61, Nettleton 51: Lafayette County stormed back from six points down going into the fourth quarter for a victory.
Lafayette County head coach Chester Drewrey said his team wasn’t playing well early, but put it together at the right time.
“Our seniors like Bridget Sealy really stepped up in the end,” Drewrey said. “To come back on a quality team like Nettleton is a great accomplishment for our girls.”
Sealy had 12 points for the Sailorettes, who were led by Debra Hood’s 16.
Nettleton coach Joe Ferguson said his team made too many mistakes in the end after starting off well.
“Their press seemed to get us, and we just turned the ball over too much,” Ferguson said. “We didn’t carry out our responsibilities. We will learn from this.”
Portia Jones carried Nettleton to a 30-28 halftime lead with 16 points. In the second half Jones was held to 5 points for a total of 21.
Nettleton, who came into the game ranked No. 7 by the Daily Journal, fell to 9-3. Lafayette County, which is ranked No. 7 in the Daily Journal poll, improved to 12-3.
(G) North Pontotoc 43, New Hope 30: The Lady Vikings of North Pontotoc set sail on an 18-0 third quarter run to carry them over New Hope’s Lady Trojans. North Pontotoc (4-12) led 17-16 at halftime, before its third quarter explosion.
Christy Wilder scored 13 points, and Christy Scott added 12 for North Pontotoc. For New Hope (4-13), Kim Mayberry scored 11 points.
(B) Lafayette Co. 61, S. Pontotoc 29: Lunda Wilborn led three players in double figures for Lafayette County, which outscored South Pontotoc 20-2 in the third period. Newt Hamilton added 12 and Rodney Driver had 10. Adrian Ivy led South Pontotoc with 8.