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Bruin Varsity Players Fire Up
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Bruin boys won their varsity basketball games against both Hilmar and Hughson and charged into this week's final matchups in hopes of getting some momentum for the playoffs.

"The playoffs look very likely," said Riverbank coach Jeff Jennings. "We play Livingston at home Tuesday, but Ripon away on Friday, and Ripon is undefeated and leading the league."

In a 57-47 victory over Hilmar on Feb. 8, Riverbank came back from a 28-22 halftime deficit with a 19-8 advantage in the third quarter and 16-11 finish in the fourth quarter.

"Brian Williams came off the bench and changed the outcome of the game," Jennings noted. "He didn't score any points but he brought the energy and intensity we needed. The team as a whole played great defense and did a good job at the free throw line."

Riverbank players hit 12 out of their 15 throws at the foul line.

Kevin Cole was the top shooter with 19 points. Eric Rodriguez scored 17 points. Ray Baca, Jon Blount and Andrew Villalobos each hit six points. Nate Gonzales scored two points and Juan Lopez, one.

Of five 3-pointers, Cole hit three and Baca a pair.

The 39-35 win over Hughson also was a defensive battle, which lacked intensity.

"There wasn't a lot of emotion in the game although we still won it," said Jennings. "Jon Blount played a very good game despite the fact he wasn't feeling well."

Rodriguez led Riverbank with 13 points, followed by Baca, with eight, and Cole, with six. Villalobos posted four points; Kyle Mitchell, two; and Gonzales. also two.

Riverbank performed competently at the free throw line, sinking seven out of its nine attempts.

In outside shooting, Baca made both the Bruin 3-pointers.