Ripon College head men’s basketball coach Ryan Kane didn’t know what to expect going into last week Saturday’s season-opening game against Wheaton.

   On one hand, his team was young with a couple of battle-tested players. Meanwhile, Wheaton was a veteran, senior-laden team.

   So when the Red Hawks started off strong and built a 14-point lead in the first half, he was pleased.

   “I was really proud of how we came out,” Kane said. “I thought Trent Jones, Cal Schultz and Kyle Rutkowski did a good job of setting the tone early. Our veteran guys settled us in and then it allowed our younger guys to play a little free ... That shows there’s belief, that there’s fearlessness in some of these guys, which is what we had talked about and I was glad to see that for sure.”

   Unfortunately, Ripon was unable to maintain the play the entire game as it dropped the non-conference contest 74-67 on the road.

   The game went south for the Red Hawks early in the second half as after they scored the first basket to take a 41-30 advantage, Wheaton went on a 14-0 run.

   Ripon recovered to reclaim a 49-44 lead, but it was short-lived as the Thunder stormed back to go out in front 53-51 and did not trail the remainder of the game. They led by as many as 10 points.

Read the full story, which includes information about a couple of notable performances, in the Nov. 15, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.