RIPLEY, W. Va. — Simply put, the Defenders were undersized — and overwhelmed.
That’s because Ohio Valley Christian School, against the taller and talented Ripley Vikings, lost 103-54 in the semifinals of Tuesday night’s Ripley Vikings Boys Basketball Invitational.
The Vikings defeated the Defenders by beating OVCS at its main area of strength — and weakness.
As the Defenders do not sport a single player taller than six-foot, two-inches tall, Ripley outrebounded OVCS by a commanding 41-24 advantage, including a 2-1 margin (29-15) on the defensive boards.
OVCS also played without its tallest regular starter — sophomore Justin Beaver.
In addition, Ripley rained in 15-of-33 three-point attempts for 45.5-percent, while the three-point reliant Defenders dropped in just 5-of 18 (28-percent) on Tuesday.
The Vikings were actually a red-hot 25-of-33 from inside the arc for a sizzling 76-percent, making them 40-of-66 for the entire game for 61-percent.
The Defenders shot from two-point range (15-of-33) what Ripley did from three-point land.
Ripley rolled up a 29-7 advantage following the opening quarter, and outscored OVCS 27-14 in the second stanza to lead comfortably 56-21 at halftime.
At one point in the contest, the Vikings scored 20 consecutive points — and extended an advantage to as large as 52.
Ripley led 78-41 following the third frame, then doubled up the Defenders 25-13 in the final period for its 103 points.
The loss left OVCS at 7-3, snapped its five-game winning streak, and dropped the Defenders into today’s (Thursday, Dec. 29) consolation tilt against Greater Beckley Christian.
Tipoff time is set for 5:30 p.m.
GBCS lost 65-51 to Roane County in Tuesday’s first semifinal at Ripley.
Jamison Hunt, on nine total field goals including 5-of-8 three-pointers, poured in a game-high 25 points to pace the victorious Vikings.
Jaxson Harris hit for 15 points — on five threes and 10 total attempts.
Nathan Hall and Eli Casto canned a dozen points apiece, as Casto connected on two treys and five total field goals.
Elijah Riffe riffled in three triples towards nine points, as Ripley racked up 31 assists on its 40 total field goals.
It also forced 20 Defender turnovers, making off with 16 steals in the process.
Hunt also had game-highs in rebounds with seven and assists with eight.
Austin Ragan recorded 20 points on seven total field goals and a perfect 4-of-4 free throws to pace the Defenders.
He and Elijah McDonald made two trifectas apiece, as McDonald mustered 13 points on five total field goals and a freebie.
McDonald, in fact, scored all seven of OVCS’ first-period points.
Hollis Morrison managed 10 points on four field goals and 2-of-3 free throws, as Ragan stuffed the stat sheet with team-highs in rebounds (five), assists (four) and steals (two).
Andrew Dub with two baskets, Austin Peck with a three-ball, Nate Dub with a bucket, and Michael Gruber with two foul shots rounded out the Defenders’ scoring.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106