Blue Jays defense key in win over G-Men

RIPLEY — Coming off a tough loss to the Fayetteville Rockets on Homecoming night the night before, the Ripley Blue Jays returned to their home court to take on a struggling Georgetown G-Men squad. Thanks to a stingy defense and timely first-half shooting, the Blue Jays were able to fend off Georgetown long enough to seal a 63-50 win.

The game certainly didn’t start out well for the G-Men. The Blue Jays led 19-9 at the end of the first quarter thanks in large part to a stifling defense and four first-quarter points from Brian Dunn and Laymon Marshall.

Ripley extended their lead to 32-19 with 1:59 left in the first half, and took a 39-22 lead into the third quarter. The G-Men rallied big-time in the second half, twice cutting the lead to single-digits in the third quarter.

Ripley led by just eight points with less than six minutes left in the game, but the G-Men could not get shots to fall and were unable to draw any closer. Head coach Marty Adams said his team has held leads in games like this before, but normally found ways to lose. That didn’t happen against Georgetown.

“Sometimes we find ways to squander it away and the third quarter was one of those times,” Adams said. “They get the lead up and they want to stop doing the things that got us there. They want to rush shots and possessions, and that’s what ended up bringing it to single digits there. We have to do a better job taking care of the ball.”

The team shot well in the first half, scoring 39 points before the break. In the third quarter, however, the squad made just four field goals, as the team turned away from the inside game to focus on shooting from behind the three-point line.

“I think we were 13 from 16 from two in the first half and we got away from that in the third quarter,” Adams said. “We just started jacking up threes and that’s not our game. We have to do a better job at doing the things that got us where we were.”

Dunn led the Blue Jays with 12 points while Marshall added nine. Josh Deaton scored nine points in the second quarter alone, but none in the other three. Noah Pack led Georgetown with 13 points while Mike Winkler and Logan Doss added 12 apiece.

Georgetown faces off against rival Western Brown at home on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Meanwhile, the\ Blue Jays return to action that same night in a home contest against West Union, a game that was originally scheduled to be played last week. The Southern Hills Athletic Conference showdown with the Dragons is the first game in a stretch of seemingly winnable games for the Ripley squad.

“There are some games coming up that could be real competitive for us,” Adams said. “We have to play better, for four quarters, and hopefully we’ll win some of those games coming up…It depends on which team shows up and nobody showed up last night [against Fayetteville]. If we show up and play, we may not win but we’ll be competitive.”

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Other scores from around the area:

Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference

Girls’ Varsity Basketball

McNicholas 54, Western Brown 39

Roger Bacon 40, New Richmond 36

Eastern 43, Bethel-Tate 28

Boys’ Varsity Basketball

Mariemont 70, New Richmond 52

Southern Hills Athletic League

Girls’ Varsity Basketball

Williamsburg 67, Fayetteville 63

Eastern Pike at North Adams*

Boys’ Varsity Basketball

Waverly 74, West Union 47*

Manchester 46, New Boston 43*

Fairland 75, Eastern 63*

* – Coach Young Classic at North Adams

Ripley’s Joseph Holmes attempts to take a charge from Georgetown’s Logan Doss in the first half of the Blue Jays’ win over the G-Men Saturday night.’s Joseph Holmes attempts to take a charge from Georgetown’s Logan Doss in the first half of the Blue Jays’ win over the G-Men Saturday night.

By Garth Shanklin

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter at @GNDShanklin.