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Midland falls at home to Ripley

Feb. 22, 2014 @ 12:21 AM

ONA -- If anyone is wondering how Cabell Midland's boys basketball season has gone, studying Friday night's game against Ripley clears up a lot of issues.

"It's the story of our season," Knights coach Matt Stead said in breaking down how the Vikings won, 56-54, at Cabell Midland. "We're sporadic, inconsistent. We have a 2- to 3-minute funk and it hurts us. Turnovers, mistakes, we let teams back in. We did tonight."

Ripley's victory was in the Mountain State Athletic Conference 13th-place game.

The Knights (4-17) started strong in the third period to go from down 26-21 at the break to up 35-28 with 3:22 left on a basket by Coy Petitt. Ripley came back, led by Kade Harrison, and the visitors cut the margin to three (39-36) after three periods.

In the fourth period, the teams traded baskets and the lead until 1:41 remained when Harrison's basket put Ripley ahead to stay, 52-50. Justin McKown and Harrison both hit two free throws in the final 33 seconds to secure the victory. In between, Sawyer Beckett converted two free throws and scored off a rebound to cut the deficit to 56-54 with 4.8 seconds left.

On the inbounds pass, there was a tieup and jump ball and the Knights got possession with 00.1 to go. Only a tip could work and Cabell Midland's lob pass under the basket went long.

"I was holding my breath," Vikings coach Craig Harmon said. "I told them get under the basket and no fouls. We made a lot of mistakes. We didn't have our focus and it almost cost us."

"We got decent looks. We just didn't convert," Stead said

Luke Layhew led Ripley (6-14) with 18 points, many coming from close in after taking a pass from Harrison who drew defenders on drives and dished to the open teammate. Harrison, who went over 1,000 points for his career last week, added 15.

"The emphasis was on stopping No. 14 (Harrison) and slow others enough," Stead said. "Layhew's effort around the rim was big."

"He creates a lot of opportunities," Harmon said of Harrison.

Cole Tilley led Cabell Midland with 12 points.

Ripley's next game is Wednesday at home against Woodrow Wilson. The Vikings visit rival Ravenswood next Friday.

Cabell Midland returns to action Tuesday at home against Hurricane. It will be Senior Night for the Knights. The Redskins beat Cabell Midland, 88-46, on Feb. 12 at home.

"They'll be a tough matchup for us," Stead said.

RIPLEY 13 13 10 20 -- 56: Hunt 2 4-5 9, Johnson 4 0-2 8, Harpold 1 0-0 2, Harrison 6 2-2 15, McKown 0 4-4 4, Layhew 8 2-2 18. Totals: 21 12-15 56.

CABELL MIDLAND 11 10 18 15 -- 54: Wilcox 3 2-2 9, Petitt 4 1-3 9, Tilley 4 2-2 1,2 Morgan 2 0-1 4, Beckett 3 3-4 9, Fraley 1 0-0 2, Adkins 2 4-4 9. Totals: 19 12-16 54.

3-point goals: Ripley 2 (Hunt, Harrison); Cabell Midland 4 (Wilcox, Tilley 2, Adkins).

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