Olivia Lewis soars to the basket in Ripon’s 56-45 loss to Winneconne last week Friday.
Olivia Lewis soars to the basket in Ripon’s 56-45 loss to Winneconne last week Friday.

   With 10 days off before last week Thursday’s East Central Conference opener against Winneconne, Ripon High School head girls’ basketball coach Tom McNeill implemented some new wrinkles.

   And for the first part of the game, they worked to perfection. The Tigers jumped out to a 13-2 lead and controlled what the Wolves did on offense.

   “We confused them in regards to the defense that we were playing,” Tom McNeill said, noting his team employed a zone defense that few teams in the conference run: one that keeps the opponent more on the perimeter. “I could tell that they [the Wolves] were trying to figure it out and we were just executing very well in that first half.”

   But the Tigers couldn’t keep it up as they relinquished the lead before halftime and fell 56-45.

   “They went ahead and made some adjustments and then we tried to go ahead and make some adjustments. It was a nice, little strategy session there in the first half,” Tom McNeill said. “And then there were times when they hit a couple of 3-point shots there in the first half, so getting that extra point can make a big difference.”

   Despite letting the Wolves back in the game in the first half, it wasn’t until the second half that Winneconne was able to pull away.

   Ripon was down just 30-27 at halftime, before giving up the first six points of the second half. It drew within six points after that time, but that was as close as it got.

Read the full story, which includes information on what went wrong in the second half, in the Dec. 14, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.