When the Ripon High School boys’ basketball team played Berlin the first two times this season, it led its rivals by five at halftime and trailed by one point.

   Last week Saturday's regional championship game appeared it may be headed in the same direction early on as neither team could get anything going offensively.

   But then, the Tigers’ Energizer Bunny, Melvin Lee, took over.

    The senior broke a scoreless tie four minutes into the game and scored eight of his team’s first 10 points, while assisting on the other basket with a behind-the-back pass.

  That was all the spark Ripon needed as it jumped out a 40-12 lead at halftime and stretched the advantage to as many as 37 points en route to an 84-49 home win.

   With the victory, the Tigers captured their fourth-straight regional championship. They now will face Waupun Thursday at 7 p.m. in West Bend in a sectional semifinal match-up.

   “I’m proud of the kids, especially the four kids who were on all four of those,” Ripon head coach Dean Vander Plas said, referring to Ben Vander Plas, Hunter Merrill, Tyler Pick and Andrew Radloff. “It’s great for our school; the community support tonight was incredible … Obviously, it’s not where we want to be, but it’s one of the great stops along the way. So I am really grateful for it and I’m proud of my team.”

Read the full story, which includes more information from the game, as well as a preview of the game against Waupun, in the March 9, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.