Big second half gets Chargers to semifinal

Feb. 28—VERSAILLES — It was a tale of two halves in the opening game of the South Ripley Sectional Tuesday. Milan won the first half 30-20, but North Decatur charged back to win the second half 42-27 to post the 62-57 victory.

North improves to 14-11 and advances to the second semifinal Friday against Switzerland County (13-10). Milan ends the season at 4-19.

Both teams had their offenses working in the first eight minutes. Milan led 18-16 after the first quarter. Ben Riehle and Gabe Reihle both scored five points in the quarter for the Indians. All five Indian starters scored in the first quarter. The Chargers got four points from Kaden Muckerheide and Owen Eldridge. Logan O'Dell added a bucket. North's Brady Mauer buried a pair of 3-pointers to close out the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Milan held the Chargers to just four points, all coming from Muckerheide. Gabe Riehle led the Indians in the quarter with four points. Milan took a 30-20 lead to the break at the half.

Milan's 10-point lead was erased in the third quarter. North outscored the Indians 23-13 to knot things up at 43-43.

Eldridge had the hot hand for the Chargers with 10 points. Mauer drained another 3-pointer in the quarter and the Chargers hit 8-of-9 free throws in the third.

With 1:29 to play in the fourth quarter, North held a 56-54 lead. Muckerheide score a bucket to push the lead to 58-54. With less than a minute to play, Milan's Norman hit a 3-pointer to get the Indians within one at 58-57. North's Muckerheide beat the Milan defense down the court and scored the lay-up to put North on top 60-57 with :17 to play.

Milan missed a couple 3-point attempts and Muckerheide sealed the 62-57 win with two free throws with :02.2 on the clock.

North put three players in double figures. Muckerheide had a game-high 26 points, 12 in the fourth quarter. Eldridge added 16 points and Mauer had 14 points. O'Dell chipped in with four points and Cooper Parmer had two points.

Milan was led by Gabe Riehle with 17 points, Norman with 15 points and McKeown with 10 points.

South Ripley (13-9) and Hauser (17-6) play at 6 p.m. Friday in the first semifinal with the Chargers and Pacers following.

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