The real drama didn’t take place on the court for the Ripon College Red Hawk women’s basketball team last week Saturday.

   It happened around a computer at the scorer’s table about an hour after its 66-40 victory over Knox.

   Tied with Cornell for the regular-season conference championship, Ripon watched as a coin was flipped to determine who would host the conference tournament.

   It was the last resort after the teams couldn’t be separated by the first four tiebreakers, which included head-to-head and record against common opponents.

   The result was worth the wait for the Red Hawks as they won the toss, resulting in a celebration (see video below).

   The tournament will take place Friday and Saturday at the Willmore Center, with Ripon taking on Lake Forest in one of the semifinals. Cornell and Knox is the other.

  “The coin flip reaction was one moment I hope to never forget,” Ripon head coach Lauren Johnson said. “The team was nervous watching on the court before our post-game meal. The eruption of screams and emotion when the toss was announced as ‘tails’ was awesome to witness. That type of excitement is what sports are about.”

   Ripon also had reason to celebrate as the right to host the conference tournament was the feather in the cap on its first regular-season conference title since 2009.

   The feat marks a big turnaround from three years ago, when it posted a program-worst 2-21 record.

   “The team is really excited,” Johnson said about winning the conference title. “It’s a good feeling for them to be rewarded for the time and effort they’ve put in, especially our seniors, who’ve gone from worst to first.”

Read the full story, which includes information on the Red Hawks' win over Knox, in the Feb. 22, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.