VERSAILLES – A pair of one-win Ripley County teams with new head coaches tangled on the South Ripley hardwood Saturday night (Nov. 23), looking for some early-season momentum.
At the final buzzer, it was Bryan Helvie’s Lady Bulldogs holding off the host Lady Raiders by a 33-27 final. The win stopped a five-game losing streak by BHS.
“We haven’t had a pretty win yet, but everybody gave a good effort,” said Helvie afterward. “I told them in the locker room that what we’re doing is getting better.”
Much of that improvement came on the defensive end of the court, where the Bulldogs allowed just six points – five by senior Lindsey Meyer – over the final seven minutes of the first half and the first 14 minutes of the second. The bulk of the Raiders’ offense came at the beginning and tail end of the game.
“Tonight we went to a 2-3 zone and relied on helping each other,” Helvie explained. “We’re not the strongest group in the world, so it’s extremely important we play as a team.”
A Meyer 3-pointer extended the hosts’ lead to 13-8 one minute into the second frame. Batesville then answered with an 8-1 run, even though that flurry didn’t start until the 3:20 mark of the half.
Senior Macy Prickel’s putback made it 14-10 before sophomore Ashley Nobbe put in 3 of 4 from the stripe. A left-handed finish by senior Carlie Werner completed the comeback for a 15-14 BHS lead. Nobbe would draw a blocking foul and sink another free throw for a two-point advantage at the half.
“Ashley missed a couple shots early,” Helvie said of his 5-foot-6 guard who led all scorers with 12 points. “In the past, that would have shaken her. But she made a change and started taking the ball to the basket and getting to the foul line.”
Despite another three by Meyer that allowed the Raiders to go ahead by one early in the second half, the home team would not sniff another lead the rest of the game.
Only seven more points would be scored the rest of the quarter, and they all belonged to the Bulldogs. Nobbe broke a long dry spell at the 3:10 mark, converting in transition to give the guests an 18-17 advantage. Later, she deflected a ball and got it right back for another hoop. Prickel finished off a 3-point play to make it 23-17 heading into the final quarter.
Meyer’s two free throws opened fourth-period scoring, but a 3-pointer by junior Catherine Raab and baseline drive by Nobbe pushed the lead to 28-19.
The defensive lockdown by BHS did not go unnoticed.
“It got pretty rugged out there tonight, but we did a good job of battling their bigs,” said Helvie.
Besides her contribution of eight points on offense, Werner was a key piece of the zone defense, said the coach.
“She’s a very good athlete, creates energy and directs traffic in the middle of that zone,” Helvie said of his senior. “She’s the kind of vocal leader you want, and nobody plays any harder.”
The Raiders made things interesting late.
A steal and lay-in by Nobbe made it 30-21 with just under two minutes left. But Rachel Meyer sank a three and Lindsey Meyer’s triple from the corner soon made it 31-27. Werner made 3 of 6 foul shots down the stretch to settle things.
A jumper by Raab opened up the game’s scoring. SR’s Cierra Copeland scored her lone basket of the night to tie it at 2. Gracie Gunter later hit from distance for a 5-3 Raider lead.
A nice feed to sophomore Breanna Wells had BHS within two at 7-5, before a 3 by Rachel Meyer. Werner’s answer from beyond the arc made it 10-8 after one complete.
Raab added six points to the final ledger and Prickel five. L. Meyer led SR with 11.
The hosts won the rebounding battle 27-18, but shot just 20% from the field compared to BHS’ 34%.
Batesville (2-5) will travel to Jac-Cen-Del the day after Thanksgiving.
In a low-scoring reserve game, BHS came out on top 23-18. “Once again, defense led the way, causing turnovers and quick-basket opportunities,” said coach Clint Pride.
Calley Kaiser paced the Bulldogs with 5 points. Sarah Ripperger, Ava Hanson and Madelyn Pohlman each had 4, while Gabby Elston, Makayla Granger-Young and Sophie Meyer netted 2 apiece.
AT SEYMOUR (Nov. 22)
The Seymour Lady Owls landed five 3-pointers and scored 26 points in the second quarter Friday en route to a comfortable 69-46 win over visiting Batesville.
Werner paced the away team with 15 points, with Prickel throwing in 8 and Raab a half dozen.
Grace Schrader and Aidan Heister each totaled 18 points for the Owls, while Grace Meyer added 14.
SHS had the slight lead in rebounds, 29-27, and made 48% of shots to Batesville’s 35. The Dogs were exactly 50% from the foul line.
The JV game went to the visitors, 42-34. Ripperger and Granger-Young each scored a dozen. Kaiser added 7, Olivia Raab and Hanson had 4 each, Elston put in 2 and Pohlman 1.
“Defense was the key to the game,” said Pride. “After trailing for three quarters, the ladies played a lockdown 3/4-court press that led to several turnovers and easy buckets.”