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Bruin Hoops Season To Kick Off
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The Riverbank Bruins basketball team lost a great deal of scoring and leadership with last season's senior graduating class, but the varsity Bruins will be far from a Trans-Valley League pushover when they open the 2008-09 season.

Head coach Jeff Jennings was slated to lead his Bruin squad into the season opener against Turlock Christian for a non-league contest on Nov. 24 and has reason to believe that Riverbank may turn some heads during this year's high school basketball season.

"We've got 15 kids on the varsity team," Jennings said. "We had a scrimmage against Beyer (Nov. 22) and I really felt that we did well.

"It's always nice to compete with a Division I team."

Riverbank will need to maximize their preseason schedule prior to heading into an always-challenging run through the TVL. The Bruins did manage to enjoy some success on the hardwood a season ago, but the team will open this campaign with vaulted expectations.

"We lost three seniors from last year's team," Jennings said. "But we do have some offense coming back and we're happy about that. We think we're definitely going to be in the mix.

"Once league rolls around we feel it's going to be wide open."

Riverbank will certainly hold a chance to remain competitive in the TVL, but the mainstays in the Division V hot bed will most definitely be back on the scene again this season.

"From what we've seen from last year we know who is definitely coming back," Jennings said. "A lot of teams lost a lot of players, but Ripon's going to be really strong this year and obviously Modesto Christian will be the team to beat.

"But we feel like we're going to be right there."

Riverbank will need to get the most out of their newfound senior leadership and thus far on the season, it seems as if its key players will be prepared to respond.

"The fact that we have a lot of kids returning with a year in the system is something that we're pleased with," Jennings said. "We're executing a lot better. Last year we had to keep it real basic and fundamental, this year we are much further ahead than we were even late last year. We've spent a lot of time in the weight room and a lot of time working on our game.

"Practice has been great, there's been high intensity. These kids have really been working hard."