Cody Sandleback, left, and Tom Bergthold celebrate after a Ripon basket against Berlin.
Cody Sandleback, left, and Tom Bergthold celebrate after a Ripon basket against Berlin.

   The Berlin Indians took the air out of the ball during the first half of last week Friday’s boys’ basketball game against the Ripon Tigers.

   They took their time on offense, passing the ball around, and entered halftime with an 18-17 lead.

   Ripon then wasted no time deflating Berlin’s sails in the second.

   The Tigers more than doubled their first-half point production in the first nine minutes as they went on a 19-1 run to break open what was a close, low-scoring affair.

   They cruised from there to improve to 9-0 in the conference and 16-0 overall with a 56-37 victory.

   “We just figured [out] where we needed to bring the pressure from and really made them speed up and they took bad shots and we got quite a few steals and we got out in transition and just really changed the pace of the game in that first [nine] minutes of the second half,” Ripon head coach Dean Vander Plas said. “I was really proud of the way the boys came out of halftime.”

   In the first half, Ben Vander Plas scored a basket on the Tigers’ first possession and it appeared points might not be that hard to come by.

   But that would be the only basket Ripon scored in the first four and half minutes as it didn’t tally another one until Eddie Muench made a shot to tie the game at 4 with 13 minutes, 23 seconds left.

   Points continued to be few and far between for both teams as the Indians led the Tigers just 12-11 with five minutes remaining in the first half.

Read the full story, which includes information on what happened in the second half, in the Feb. 9, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.