The home court didn’t serve up any advantage for the Riverbank Bruins on Friday, even though there was plenty of fan support for the squad as they took on the visiting Crusaders of Modesto Christian.
In just their second Trans-Valley League loss of the campaign, the Bruins fell 84-64 to MC, though the host Bruins had four players in double figures and went most of the game without standout Rolaun Dunham. He injured an ankle against Patterson in non-league action last week and had to sit out much of the Friday night battle with MC.
In terms of standings, the loss doesn’t change where the Bruins finish the league season, as they are second to MC. Escalon is third. The Bruins have lost twice, both times to the Crusaders and Escalon lost to both MC and Riverbank. The top three TVL teams this season make the postseason, so Riverbank and MC should get home games in the first round, Escalon is likely to travel. Brackets are to be posted today, Wednesday, Feb. 19.
After MC took a 21-9 lead in the first quarter, Riverbank redoubled its efforts and outscored the visitors 22-21 in the second, down by 11 at the half, 42-31.
Modesto Christian came out of the locker room with some spark and ran off a 23-14 scoring edge in the third to put some distance between them and the teams were knotted at 19-19 over the final eight minutes, MC claiming the 20-point win.
Without Dunham, several Bruins stepped forward to rally the team, with Reilly Nabors pouring in 14 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, Ylii Lopez with a dozen points, Vincent Meras and Curtis Porter III each with 11 points. Tristin Rodgers added eight points and nine rebounds in an all-around solid effort and Kory Gilbert came on to contribute with seven rebounds on the night.
With a final game at home slated for Tuesday night against the Hughson Huskies, Feb. 18 after The News went to press, the Bruins were at 9-2 in league and 20-3 overall.
The JV team took a tough loss to MC, falling by an 86-46 final on Friday night.