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Bruin Cagers Take On Modesto In Playoffs
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The Bruin cagers are in the Sac Joaquin Section basketball playoffs and will play Central Catholic today, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Modesto school's gymnasium.

Out of the 16 teams selected for the Division IV playoffs; Central was seeded eighth and Riverbank, ninth.

"It should be a very even game,' said Riverbank coach Jeff Jennings. "Central is a good team. Their players are a little bit bigger than we are. It's been a long time since we last played them."

In their final Trans Valley League games, the Bruins beat Livingston by 78-65 on Feb. 15 and lost to Ripon, 66-51, on Friday. Ripon remained the undefeated leader of the league. Riverbank's final mark in league was 7-7 and for the season, 14-12.

Against Livingston, Riverbank led every quarter, humbling their opponents 18-11, 20-18, 21-15 and 19-18.

Drew Villalobos was the top Bruin scorer with 20 points. He was trailed by Jon Blount, with 17 points; Kevin Cole, with 11; and Eric Rodriguez, with 10. Kyle Mitchell chipped in with another eight points; Nate Gonzales and Juan Lopez, with four each; Ray Baca, with three; and Justin Montano, with one.

Riverbank hit nine 3-pointers, including three by Villalobos and another three by Cole. At the foul line, the Bruins went 11 for 17.

."It was a very exciting game, fast paced," said Jennings. "Jon Blount did very well."

Riverbank performed well against the Livingston defense because Livingston likes to make the game as fast as possible and keep shooting 3-pointers. But Riverbank kept the game's tempo under control.

"We defeated them the first time around too," Jennings commented. "They did not make the playoffs. Our league is one of the toughest around."

It was a complete turnaround against Ripon, where Riverbank in its turn lost every quarter on points with the score going 15-12, 15-8, 17-15 and 19-16.

Villalobos again led on points with 12. Rodrigues posted 11 points; Cole and Mitchell, eight each; Giovanni Nabors and Baca, three each; and Blount, Gonzales and Brian Williams, two each.

Riverbank players sank 12 out of 19 throws from the foul line.

"We struggled offensively," said Jennings. Our shots seemed to be good ones, but they were not falling. Our shooting was not that productive. We let that effect our defensive game and that wasn't good. When we play tough defense for the whole 32 minutes, we are hard to beat but we have to be consistent."