New Albany handed Ripley its first loss of the year, thanks in large part to a strong start – the first Bulldogs coach Brad Gray said he has seen this season.
“We did a good job of getting out ahead early,” he said. “This is the first game where I thought we started well, and we managed to play through some mistakes and problems.”
Ahead 9-8 early in the game, the Bulldogs pulled away to lead by as many as 11 in the first quarter, after a three-pointer by Bernard Spight.
The Tigers went on a 7-0 run in the second that eventually tied the game at 32, but New Albany out scored Ripley 13-6 to lead 45-38 at the half.
Ripley made it a one-point game in the final minute, 80-79, but Eric Chaney, Jarrel Lipsey and Spight kept the Bulldogs in front on the free throw line, leading 87-82 with 10 seconds remaining. Ripley hit a three-pointer at the end, making the final, 87-85.
“They have a very good team, and they’re very athletic and guard oriented; very versatile with three or four guys who can put 20 on you any night. You can’t focus on just one player, because they have several who can make the shots,” Gray said.
“Give them credit. They got down and they could have given up, but they kept fighting and came back. Guess it wouldn’t be New Albany and Ripley if it didn’t come down to the last second.”
The Bulldogs (4-3) have now won three straight heading into tonight’s game against Myrtle.
Jazmine Spears scored a game-high 29 points in a loss for the Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday.
The senior made it a six-point game at the end of the first and kept the Lady Bulldogs close in the first half, scoring 11 points before the break.
Jayla Chills led Ripley with 24 points, followed by 10 points from Zaida Cox; eight points scored in the second half.
New Albany (5-2) will look for its second win over Myrtle tonight.