“If you’ve got to finish your season the way you don’t want to, finishing at the Kohl Center is not a bad way to do it.

- Ripon head coach Dean Vander Plas.

The Ripon High School boys’ basketball team’s magical season came to an end today (Thursday) as it lost to Xavier 81-74 in a state semifinal game in Madison.

It trailed the Hawks for the majority of the game, including by as many as 13 points, but never gave up as it got as close as four points on several occasions in the second half.

With the loss, the Tigers finish the season 26-1

“I thought my guys played their guts out,” Dean Vander Plas said. “There’s a lot of heartache in our locker room right now; I’m really proud of them. Xavier shot lights-out and we knew they could shoot the 3-[pointer] and they sure did. But my guys played tough to the last second.”

Eddie Muench finished with 26 points to lead the Tigers, while Ben Vander Plas and Melvin Lee chipped in 21 and 15 points, respectively, in the losing effort.

For more information on the game, read the story in the March 23, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.