Play for another day.
That’s what the Ripley and Peebles boys’ basketball teams have been doing as of late. Over the next two days, they’ll hope to keep doing the same.
The Blue Jays will play for a Southwest Division IV District title Friday, in Dayton against Central Catholic at 5:30 p.m. The contest figures to be Ripley’s toughest competition as of yet, claiming three postseason victories already with wins over Lockland, Hillcrest and James Gamble Montessori.
Both teams are No. 1 seeds in their respective sections as Central came out unscathed with wins over Cedarville, Newton Local and Legacy Christian.
In the Blue Jays battle with Gamble Montessori last Saturday, they overcame a 14-point first half deficit to prevail, 58-51. Helping with the comeback effort was Ripley taking care of the basketball, committing just three turnovers on the evening, making their first trip to a district final since 2004.
Peebles’ path to the district final has come via wins over Southern Hills Athletic Conference foe Whiteoak for a sectional title and then knocked off Waterford last Sunday night at The Convo in the district semifinals.
The No. 2 seed Indians will take on Green on Saturday, a No. 5 seed, who upset Trimble in the district semifinals. Peebles will make a return trip to The Convo, with Saturday’s tip slated for 2 p.m.
The two-seed is fitting for the Indians 1-2 punch with Tanner Arey and Bostin Robinson. However, in the postseason, other guys have stepped up such as Weston Browning, Colten Ball, Blake Hawes and Blake Smalley. While Arey and Robinson have combined for 65 points in the two postseason games, they’ve got 62 points from others in those contests.
That balance will be key as they face upset-minded Green, looking to knock off a lower seeded team for the third straight game.
Balance has been the name of the Blue Jays game throughout the season and that’s been evident in the second season. Twelve different players scored in their win over Hillcrest while nine different players entered the scoring column in the opening postseason win over Lockland. The win over Gamble Montessori was a little different as they rode the hot hand of Landon Rigdon, scoring 23 while Brian Dunn’s 14, Ryan Harney’s 10 and Jaki Royal’s nine points all played huge in advancing.
If the two win, Ripley moves on to Tuesday’s regional semifinal at Kettering Fairmont High School at 5:30 p.m. They’d await the Marion Local/St. Henry winner. Those two play Friday at 7 p.m.
Peebles would face the Dawson-Bryant/South Webster winner Tuesday at Ohio University at 8 p.m., in the regional semifinals.