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Bruins Log Successful Season With 15-13 Record
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The Bruins came to the close of their basketball season with a loss to Ripon, 73- 46, on Friday after defeating Central Catholic, 76-66, on Wednesday in the Sac Joaquin Section Playoffs. Their final record was 15-13.

It was a very successful season for us," said Riverbank High School head coach Jeff Jennings. "Nobody gave us much of a chance at the start and our league is one of toughest around. But we made the playoffs again."

Riverbank has reached the semi finals three times in the nine years Jennings has coached, and won the sections four years ago.

In the opening round of the playoffs against Central Catholic, Riverbank jumped out to a 21-15 lead in the first quarter; led the second period, 17-15; tied the third, 17-17; and edged ahead again, 21-19, in the final quarter.

Eric Rodriguez was the Bruins' top scorer, with 22 points. Kevin Cole scored 20; Andrew Villalobos, 7; Juan Lopez, 7. Jon Blount, 6, Kyle Mitchell and Nate Gonzalez, 5 each; and Ray Baca, 3. Cole hit four of Riverbank's eight 3-pointers, and Rodriguez had 12 of its 36 rebounds. The Bruins were successful with 14 out of 27 free throws.

"Eric and Kevin did great, but we also got a good performance from Juan Lopez who came off the bench," said Jennings. "It was an exciting game, with a lot of our fans there. They had to come early to get a good seat."

Going onto the second round on Friday against Ripon, again on their opponent's court, the Bruins were blasted by their undefeated foes, 23-6, in the first quarter. Riverbank won the second period, 18-16, but lost the third quarter, 18-9, and the last, 16-13.

"It was disappointing. I know we are a better team than the one which showed up that night,' said Jennings. "We didn't play up to our true abilities, whereas Ripon did."

Villalobos led the scoring for Riverbank with 11 points, closely trailed by Rodriguez, with 10. Other Bruin scorers were Blount, with 7; Baca and Mitchell, with 4 each; Giovanni Nabors and Cole, with 3 each; and Gonzalez and Lopez, with 2 each.

Blount, Cole and Nabors each hit a 3-pointer, and the Bruins sank five out of 10 attempts at the foul line.

"We dug ourselves into a hole in the first quarter and spent too much time getting out," said Jennings. "You can't do that against a team as good as Ripon."

Their coach noted the Bruins beat some very good teams this season and proved how far hard work and dedication can take a team.

"The five starters," he added, "are all under six feet tall and that's not good in basketball. But they did all we asked."

Rodriguez has been named All League on the Trans Valley League's first team, and Cole won Honorable Mention.

"As for the next season, our success depends on what we do before then. Teams are made during the off season," Jennings concluded.