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Two Riverbank Teams Move To Section Playoffs
Riverbank senior forward Constantino Ayala, 11, launches the ball in a downfield pass early in the first half of Thursday’s varsity boys soccer match. The 2-0 win over Escalon, on the home field, sent the Bruins to the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division V playoff tournament. See more high school sports coverage on Page A8. Ric McGinnis/The News

Both the Riverbank varsity basketball and varsity soccer squads ended their league seasons on an up note this past week, with both qualifying for postseason play.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, the Bruin basketball team bid farewell to its graduating class as senior players and their families were recognized prior to the start of their home game against Ripon Christian High School.

But then, the action began.

From just after the opening tip off, the Bruins seemed to command the court against a much taller team. Although the Bruins finished the first quarter with a slim, two-point lead, from there, it got more interesting. Up until that point in the Trans-Valley League season, the Ripon Christian Knights had an undefeated league record.

By the end of the half, Riverbank led by 20 points, and they maintained that margin, still ahead by 20 at the end of three, and finishing the visitors off by a final of 76-50. They even had a lead of more than 30 points at one time in the final frame.

The win left the Bruins in third place for the TVL, with an 8-4 season record. But the Knights also lost last week to Ripon, moving them down to a 10-2 season, for second place behind the Indians, who had an 11-1 season.

All three TVL teams are competing this week in the Sac-Joaquin Division IV playoff tournament. Riverbank, as the number 15 seed, opens up with a road trip to number two seed Sonora for a 7 p.m. game against the Wildcats on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

A win against Sonora would put the Bruins into a second round game against either number seven Union Mine or number 10 seed Foothill on Friday, Feb. 15.

Meanwhile, Riverbank celebrated its boys soccer seniors on Thursday, Feb. 7, in front of a good sized crowd, introducing players and their families before the match.

In a fast paced first half, the Bruins held the visiting Cougars from Escalon scoreless while netting two goals of their own. The tallies came from Miguel Moreno and Diego Samano, both seniors.

Riverbank held Escalon out of the nets through the rest of the match, finishing up 2-0, to close out the Trans-Valley League season.

This week, the soccer team was also to begin its Division V Sac-Joaquin playoff action, with the number six seed Bruins traveling to Citrus Heights to take on the number three seed San Juan Spartans on Tuesday, Feb. 12 after The News went to press. A first round victory would see Riverbank continue to a second round match with No. 2 Encina or No. 7 Linden on Thursday, Feb. 14. Games are hosted by the higher seeded team.