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Jawin' W/Jagada Riverbank Basketball Worth Price Of Admission
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The only thing that could have made it better is if it were in the new gym.

When the varsity Bruins boys hoop team came from behind to outlast the Waterford Wildcats in the 38th Annual Ron Peterson Tip-Off Tournament opener, there was no better place to be in Riverbank.

I know, I know, it's not like the Bruins came in and popped Modesto Christian for the TVL title, but it sure was loud. Parents, former players and faculty alike, let their hair down and screamed and cheered their Riverbank Bruins to victory.

The 59-52 victory gave everyone in attendance a quality glimpse as to what the Riverbank boys varsity squad will have on display over the next three months - relentless hustle.

It was obvious that the Riverbank faithful respect and support the Bruins' movement, because the buzz in the gym refused to settle down for four periods. The fans were adamant about keeping a determined Wildcat team from ever feeling like they were anywhere close to home.

Early in the first half the Riverbank High girls hoops team rolled into the gym and things really got hectic. These girls came in with well-orchestrated cheers that gave the boys team an instant boost, like a double pump of espresso at Starbucks.

Even though I am a versatile sports reporter and I can cover a tennis match and a round of golf with more flare than the average, sometimes you still need a shock of reality when the seasons change in a matter of days.

Detaching from the football and volleyball circuits is no easy task, making the Bruins' performance and that of their fans a healthy dose of food for the soul.

If there were any lingering hang-ups or personal agony attached to the 2008 Fall Sports season, Riverbank helped me bury mine. It is a new season for a new squad and Riverbank's up-tempo aggressive style of basketball is a show worth going to see.

I am not going to go out on the limb and call a postseason berth, or a knockoff of one of the league's powerhouses, but I will guarantee an exciting brand of basketball that will be talked about throughout the upcoming basketball season.

It's the last time to enjoy Riverbank hoops in the comfy confines of the Bruins home gym. The new building is on its way to being completed and the atmosphere I witnessed Dec. 5 will be a part of Riverbank folklore. The small, cozy gym will be replaced with the new mammoth structure and getting as loud as it did against Waterford may be impossible to re-enact.

Riverbank community, get out and see the new-and-improved Bruin boys basketball program. Even in the old gym, this group is worth the price of admission.

Jagada Chambers is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.