Austin Lopez makes a closely contested shot in the second half of Ripon’s win over North Fond du Lac.
Austin Lopez makes a closely contested shot in the second half of Ripon’s win over North Fond du Lac.

   It was ugly.

   That’s probably the best description of Tuesday’s regional quarterfinal  boys’ basketball game between the Ripon Tigers and North Fond du Lac Orioles.

   The game featured 50 fouls, 62 free throws, 20 turnovers and countless misses from point-blank range.

   But Ripon coach Steve Brooks had another word for it: a “win.”

   The Tigers, who were the No. 6 seed in its 12-team half-sectional bracket, prevailed 75-67 at home over the No. 11-seeded Orioles.

   With the win, Ripon advances to the regional semifinals, where it will face No. 3-seed Watertown Luther Prep Friday in Watertown.

   The victory is just the Tigers’ third in the last 13 games, after starting off the season 7-3.

   “At this time of year, you want to live for another day, and we survived and advanced,” Brooks said. “We did some good things early and then at [other] points during the game.

   “There also were a lot of ugly stretches that we just looked like the team that we’ve been the last couple months. But we put some different guys in different positions and found a way to get it done.”

   Ripon started strong, at least on defense, as it jumped out to a 9-0 lead five minutes in. But it missed several shots from close range that could have made the lead bigger.

Read the full story, which includes information on big games from Hunter Auchtung, Max Beuthin and Isaac Mills, in the March 1, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.