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Bruins Get Revenge Against Tigers
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The Bruins took their revenge on the Tigers in varsity boy's basketball on Friday as Riverbank came from behind in the final quarter to defeat Patterson by 55-52.

The away win made up for a loss to the same opponent before a home crowd just six days ago.

"We played exceptionally well. It was a great team effort,' said Bruin coach Jeff Jennings. "They had a large crowd there too for their Homecoming."

Trailing, 22-21, at halftime, Riverbank lost the third quarter, 17-9, but came battling back in the last period to take the win.

"We went on a run and scored nine points to Patterson's zero in the last three minutes of the game," said Jennings.

Drew Villalobos led the scoring for Riverbank with 25 points. He was followed by Eric Rodriguez, with 11 points, and Jon Blount, with seven. Other contributors were Kyle Mitchell and Nate Gonzales, with four points each; and Kevin Cole and Juan Lopez with a couple each.

"Andrew was phenomenal," said the coach. "He was playing great defense, rebounding, scoring of course, and making big plays. And he wasn't feeling well. It was a gutsy effort."

Villalobos hit all three of Riverbank's shots from the outside. The Bruins went 10 times to the free throw line and sank six of their efforts.

Taking on the powerful Ripon squad the previous Tuesday, the bruins did not do so well at home and eventually lost by 82-60.

"Ripon, you must remember, is undefeated and ranked seventh in the state," said Jennings.

"We came out sluggish. Against a team like Ripon, you can't do that," he added.

Riverbank lost the opening quarter, 18-8, and the second period, 24-11. The Bruins rallied after halftime to win the third quarter by 24-18, but lost the last, 19-17.

"We did much better in the second half. We outscored them. But we were too deep in the hole by then," said Jennings.

Rodrigiuez led the scorrng with 16 points; Villlabos had 14 and Cole, 10. Other scores included Giovanni Nabors, with seven points; Gonzales, with four; Ray Baca, with three; and Kyle Mitchell, Juan Lopez and Blount, with two each.

Villlalobos hit three 3-pointers for Riverbank, and Cole and Nabors, two each.

"Nabors is good at outside shots. That's what he does," said Jennings.

Riverbank's rate of success at the foul line was 10 out of 18.

The Bruins are now 4-4 in Trans Valley League play and tied for fourth place.

Looking around at a Riverbank High School gym crowded with youth league basketball players in their first games officiated by high school cagers, Jennings complimented the high school players who volunteer to coach the youngsters on Saturday mornings at the clinic.

'"They were playing an away game last night and didn't get home until 11:30 p.m. or so. Then they were back by 9 a.m. this morning to teach the younger kids," he said of his players.

High school cagers, both boys and girls, and including junior varsity and freshmen players, turn out each Saturday morning to instruct and officiate games at both Riverbank High School and Cardoza Community gyms.

Started by former RHS coach Ron Peterson 20 years ago, the youth basketball league continues to get bigger and better each year. Saturday's event, marks the first games after a round of clinics, and they drew 220 children plus their parents to the two gymnasiums.