Dayton Northridge vs South Ripley, 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27
The Northridge Polar Bears and the South Ripley Raiders both enjoyed stellar seasons last year.
The Bears finished 24-3, went undefeated in the Southwest Buckeye League and won the district championship.
South Ripley was equally impressive, finishing 17-9, winning the Ohio River Valley Conference and advancing to the Elite 8 in the Indiana Division II playoffs.
The good news for Ohio Valley Hoops Classic fans is that both schools return the star players from those teams which should make for a highly competitive matchup when the two meet at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Leading the charge for Northridge will be Drew Ogletree. The 6-6 forward nearly averaged a double-double with 12.4 points and 9.4 rebounds. Lightning quick guard Averon Ely, Jr. averaged 14 points and 5 assists, while 3-point sharpshooter Anthony Carroll put in nearly 10 points per game while hitting 61 of 138 three point attempts.
South Ripley also returns a threesome of double digit scorers. Brad Meyer, a 6-5 senior, led the Raiders with 16 points per game, while fellow seniors Elijah Roepke (6-6) and Ty Tucker (6-5) averaged 13 and 10 respectively.
Northridge coach Jeff Lisath is no stranger to championship basketball. Lisath was a two-time All-Ohio player at Portsmouth High School leading the Trojans to the state championship in 1978, and followed that up by lettering four years for the Miami Redhawks. Five times during his coaching career he has been named District Coach of the Year, and last season was the Associated Press Ohio Division III Coach of the Year.
He has the Polar Bears flying high. Last year was the school’s first district championship since 1945 and the first back-to-back league titles since 1980. And, the thing that has Northridge fans excited is that this year’s team may be just as good, if not better.
Over on the other sideline, coach Travis Wrightsman also is no stranger to winning. The Raider head man has racked up 222 victories in 14 years as a head coach and twice has led South Ripley to the Elite 8 in Indiana. With virtually the entire team returning intact South Ripley fans are optimistic this year could lead to new heights.
When South Ripley hits the floor for their 4:30 p.m. tilt with Northridge they will become the first Indiana school to participate in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic. Indiana has long been recognized as a hotbed for high school basketball, so the matchup of these two schools of nearly identical size will provide local fans a chance to see how Ohio basketball stacks up against Hoosier teams.