By all indications, Ryan Ripken, the eldest son of baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., has shown plenty of potential to be the next in line in the family business. A sweet swinging first baseman, Ryan Ripken took part in last summer's Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field, and his baseball skills were rewarded with a hardball scholarship to South Carolina this fall (he picked the Gamecocks over Wake Forest and Maryland, among other schools).
Yet, while Ripken is heading toward a baseball future, South Carolina men's basketball coach Darrin Horn might want to consider getting Ripken involved too, for reasons that were made abundantly clear on Saturday afternoon. That's when Ryan Ripken single-handedly torched Annapolis (Md.) St. Mary's School in a 79-60 victory for his Baltimore (Md.) Gilman School basketball team.
As reported by the Annapolis Capital, Ripken contributed a whopping 42 of Gilman's 79 points and was literally perfect from the field, shooting 15 for 15, including 6 for 6 from behind the 3-point arc. The only three shots he missed all night were from the free-throw line, where Ripken finished 6 for 9. Three of his six threes came in the opening quarter, when Ripken dropped in 14 of his 42 points.
In fact, by the end of that first period, Ripken had matched a talented St. Mary's team by himself, handing Gilman a 21-14 lead that it would never relinquish.
"I actually didn't feel too good about it in warm-ups. I wasn't hitting anything," Ripken told the Capital. "But you know, one of those nights it just happens. My teammates; I've got to give credit to them because they gave me open looks and that's what made it easier to keep my shot going."
He got going in a big way, and that made Gilman virtually impossible to beat. Considering the fact that Gilman hadn't beaten St. Mary's in boys basketball in eight long years, the victory was a significant one, even if it may not be enough to make Ripken reconsider which sport he should focus on at the next level.
"When you don't miss shots it's hard for the other team to get back in it," Gilman boys basketball coach Owen Daly told the Capital. "So [St. Mary's] really played tough and played really well at times, but it was just one of those days where we were making shots."
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