RIPLEY Heather Belson scored a game-high 20 points including a crucial free throw in the final seconds to lift the Ripley Lady Eagles past Westfield, 40-38, Saturday in the consolation match of the Ripley girls’ basketball tournament.
“Heather Belson played a really good game,” Ripley coach Alex Reyda said. “She played well. She took the ball hard to the basket, rebounded well and stepping up pretty good.”
Westfield’s Alyssa Ressler opened the game firing making three treys in giving the visiting Lady Wolverines an 18-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Eagles chipped away at the lead the next two quarters cutting the lead, 23-20, at the end of the first half and tying the game, 31-all, at the end of the third quarter.
“We came out better in the third quarter,” Reyda said. “(Damaras) Mason had a couple baskets in that quarter for us.”
Belson added six rebounds while Kailyn Bentley also pulled down six boards as did Maggie Hammond. Ashley Judd had eight rebounds in the win while Belson had three steals, Bentley had three assists and Mason had four blocks for the Lady Eagles.
Ressler finished with 16 points while teammate Alanna Causebrook had 12 in a losing effort.
“We were able to work a lot of things out,” Reyda said of the tournament. “Immaculata is a good team. We were shaky, but we were a little better against Westfield.”
The Lady Eagles jump into the Division 3 schedule this week with a game against heavily favorite Sherman and then Pine Valley on Friday.
Sherman won the tournament with a victory over Immaculata.
“They have a lot of weapons,” Reyda said of Sherman. “They basically have the whole team back.”
Notes: Sherman’s Bethany Gribble was named the tournament MVP. The all-tournament team was comprised of Rachel Ottaway (Sherman), Michelle Persons (Sherman), Jillian Fitzner (Immaculata), Bentley (Ripley) and Causebrook (Westfield).