Twenty-two down. Six to go.

   The Ripon High School boys’ basketball team capped off its first-ever undefeated regular season last week Thursday with a 70-64 win over Waupun. Now, it will turn its attention to winning a state title.

   It begins WIAA Tournament play Friday, when it hosts Lomira at 7 p.m. in the regional semifinals.

   “Our energy needs to be trying to go 1-0,” Ripon head coach Dean Vander Plas said. “We’re trying to prepare well; we’re putting all our effort into the next game ... I think our team buys into that ... It’s about effort, it’s about energy and that’s really what we’re trying to do.”

   While the Tigers’ focus shifts to the postseason, finishing off the undefeated regular season wasn’t an easy task last week Thursday.

   “We had to face immense adversity and our kids just kept coming. That speaks to their character, their unity and the hard work that they’ve put in,” Dean Vander Plas said. “I’m really proud of them. They did the little things well to believe in each other tonight. Big-time accomplishment for them.”

   For much of the game, Ripon had to overcome its fair share of challenges as it trailed the Warriors, who had won 25-straight home contests dating back to February 2015. Waupun even led by as many as seven points late in the first half.

Read the full story, which includes information on a big game from Ben Vander Plas, in the March 2, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.