Giant-killer Ripley girls get back to work today

By NEMS Daily Journal

The Daily Journal’s top-ranked girls team, Ripley, is set to return to the court after its 48-45 upset of the state’s No. 1 team, Southaven, on Saturday in the Domino’s Shootout at Hickory Flat.
The Lady Tigers (14-4) open Division 1-3A play tonight – weather permitting – at home against Kossuth.
“We never backed down from (Southaven), even when they made that initial run,” Ripley coach Katie Bates said, referring to Southaven’s 16-8 first-quarter lead. “I knew we were going to battle. I knew we were going to take it to them.”
Jayla Chills and Jada Rich shared the scoring honors for Ripley with 12 points apiece. Rich scored eight of her points and grabbed a key late rebound for the Lady Tigers.
Southaven (16-2)started three Division I signees and two D-I prospects.
“It was nice to be challenged like that,” Bates said. “It gives you hope for what’s ahead.”
Baldwyn’s boys (17-0) are still unbeaten and a county rival would love to end that run.
The Bearcats’ next big challenge could come Saturday night in Jumpertown – a possible matchup against Booneville (13-3) in the Prentiss County Tournament championship.
However, Baldwyn coach Jason McKay won’t let his team look ahead. The Bearcats will play Friday in the tournament against Jumpertown or Wheeler.
“Booneville is without a doubt the best team I’ve seen this year, without a doubt,” McKay said, “If it comes down to us and Boonevllle, that’s not only an intense rival, it’s a team you have tremendous respect for.”
Baldwyn, powered by 3-pointer shoot Tevin Lindsey, already has wins over Class 4A contender Shannon, 3A contender Aberdeen and 1A contender Biggersville. Booneville, led by Kenny Paul Geno, has seen steady improvement and also has its share of big wins against Mooreville, Tupelo and Shannon.
Union County will also crown a champion this weekend. The tournament is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday at New Albany.
One of the highlights should be a Friday boys semifinals game between Myrtle and host New Albany.

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