Trent Jones (5) swats away a shot in Ripon’s 73-60 win against Beloit as Isaac Masters (2) also challenges it.
Trent Jones (5) swats away a shot in Ripon’s 73-60 win against Beloit as Isaac Masters (2) also challenges it.

   Despite its struggles the past several seasons, Knox always seems to give the Ripon College men’s basketball team difficulties.

   Such was the case Saturday, when they met in Galesburg, Ill., for a conference game.

   The Prairie Fire, which have won only 15 league contests in the past nine-plus years, trailed Ripon just 34-32 at halftime and were down 43-40 with 15 minutes left.

   But Seth Kostroski came up with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Red Hawks some breathing room en route to a 72-61 win.

  “That was huge,” Ripon head coach Ryan Kane said. “... That’s what Seth does best. He’s the kind of kid who can take a game and stretch the lead for us or he’s the kind of kid who, if we have a deficit, we can get right back in the game with his jump shot.”

  Even after the 3-pointer, Knox did not go away easily as it cut the deficit to four points a couple times in the final four minutes, including with 2 minutes, 43 seconds left.

   The Red Hawks (2-2 conference, 4-3 overall), however, finished the game on a strong note as they out-scored the Prairie Fire (0-4 conference, 0-7 overall) 11-4.

   “We just got really good possessions late. I think Cal got a nice drive, Isaac had a nice pull up and I think we got a bucket inside from Rutkowski in that stretch,” Kane said. “We scored on three-straight possessions and we got some stops. You could tell we were physically a little stronger in that stretch. They looked to be a little fatigued and had a hard time staying in front of us.”

   The Ripon head coach credited Knox for hanging around.

Read the full story, which includes information on a win over Beloit, in the Dec. 14, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.