The Ripon Christian Knights opened the contest on fire, building a seven-point first quarter lead en route to a 60-49 win over Linden in the Ripon Christian Tournament Friday.
The win ushers Ripon Christian into the championship game against Gregori, which beat Millennium.
The Knights (6-2) opened the game with an offensive display and closed Linden out with an even more impressive showing on the defensive end. Ripon Christian held the Lions to just two points the entire final period, taking the game from Linden after it was knotted at 47-47.
“I was extremely pleased with holding them to two points in the fourth quarter,” Ripon Christian head coach Ron Vander Molen said. “We did not play good defense the whole game until that fourth quarter, and then we played the way that we are capable of playing.”
Jon Vander Molen led Ripon Christian with 21 points, and Jared Goslinga assisted the cause with 13.
Ripon Christian and Gregori are scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff.
Ripon Winter Classic
Ripon 56, Bret Harte 52
The Indians rode the solid play of Conner Jones and Josh McCreath late in the fourth to outlast Bret Harte 56-52 for a berth in the Ripon Winter Classic championship game Saturday.
Jones finished with a team-high 15, doing the majority of his damage late in the fourth quarter with the game in the balance.
“Conner Jones was the difference for us down the stretch,” Ripon head coach Rod Wright said. “Conner got a huge rebound and dribbled out some clock before hitting a pair of free throws to pretty much seal it for us.
“He had six of his 15 down the stretch in the fourth quarter.”
Cole Herrin finished with 12 and McCreath added 11, including a big three in the fourth quarter.
The Indians will face Highlands in the title game, after a one point win over Central Catholic.