Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
RIPLEY Class AAA No. 3 Ripley clinched its first state tournament berth since 1996 with a 78-66 win over co-No. 5 Logan in the Class AAA Region 4 co-finals Wednesday night in front of a sellout crowd at Ripley High School.
Four of five Ripley starters scored in double figures as the Vikings captured their second regional championship in school history and first since 1996.
Luke Johnson and Brady Anderson each posted double-doubles to lead the Vikings. Johnson scored 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds while Anderson had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Dylan Casto finished with 14 points and Isaiah Casto scored 10.
Scotty Browning’s 3-point play brought Logan to within one point, 57-56, with 3:26 to play, but Ripley closed the game on a 21-10 run, scoring 19 of 21 points from the free throw line to pull away from the Wildcats.
Ripley was 25 of 28 from the foul line in the fourth quarter and 30 of 37 overall while Logan was 13 of 17 from the charity stripe.
Browning led Logan with 22 points while Garrett Williamson, who missed the last nine games after suffering a knee injury at Scott on Jan. 20, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and Julius Clancy added 13 points.
Logan and Ripley were tied at 18 after one quarter. In the first five minutes of the second quarter, the Vikings and Wildcats would exchange the lead eight times before an 8-0 run gave Ripley a 33-26 lead on Johnson’s basket with 1:44 to play.
A pair of free throws from Williamson cut the deficit to 35-31 at halftime and baskets from Williamson and Aiden Slack tied the contest at 35 in the third quarter with 7:03 to play.
Ripley led 47-43 after three quarters. The Wildcats regained the lead, 51-50, with 5:17 to play in the fourth quarter on Browning’s layup, but the Wildcats would never lead again as the Vikings knocked down free throw after free throw in final five minutes.
Johnson was 13 of 15 from the foul line in the fourth quarter while Isaiah Casto was 8 of 8 and Brady Anderson 3 of 3 in the final stanza.
Logan ends an injury filled season with a record of 13-11 while Ripley improved to 23-2.
The Vikings will be the third seed in the Class AAA state tournament and face sixth seed Elkins (16-9) Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.