Number one’s faced off Tuesday night with New Albany fighting off a late rally to defeat Ripley, 62-54.
Up by 16 at the half, the top team in 4A watched as Jayla Chillis led the 3A top ranked Lady Tigers on a 14-2 run and were only down by one, 48-47. Regaining their focus, New Albany turned to free throws to close out the win.
“We had a great first half, up 16, on the road and then we got complacent in the second half and started standing around,” NAHS coach John Stroud said. “They had a run and got back in the game, and they have a good team. I expected it to be like that the entire game, but we stopped them in the first half.”
New Albany built a 20-7 lead, highlighted by Jazmine Spears’ 10 first quarter points. Holding the lead throughout, the Lady ‘Dawgs outscored Ripley 17-14 in the second quarter. Chillis was scoreless in the first half, but scored 12 second half points to lead the Lady Tigers back into the game.
“Good teams have runs, but we were able to regain our composure and finished them off,” Stroud said. “Our weakness is that we’re complacent, we’ve won so much that when we get ahead we start taking time off and we let people hang around.”
Micha Washington finished with 13 points, and for Ripley, Becca Ruckes led with 13 and Shunquest Howell added 10 points.
New Albany 88 Ripley 76 (boys)
Acie Vance scored 47 points, but that was not enough for Ripley, as the Bulldogs earned the road win.
Vance tied the game early on at 13 and would score all of the Tigers first quarter points with New Albany leading by only two, 20-18.
In his first game this season, Kareem Brown scored 17 points off the bench for New Albany, 10 in the second quarter with the Bulldogs leading 46-38 at the half.
Vance gave Ripley their first lead of the game in the third, but the Bulldogs went on a 15-2 run to close out the third and eventually take the win.
Tadarious Coburn led New Albany with 22 points, followed by Eric Chaney with 12 points and Javonte Newsome with 11 points.
NAHS finishes a tough road stretch, as four of their first five games have been away from Memorial Gym. They will return home to face Newton and Briarcrest this weekend.