It took overtime, but the Riverbank Lady Bruins got a hard fought varsity victory against Ripon on Thursday, outlasting the Indians 47-44.
The girls improved to 9-1 in Trans-Valley League play with the win and are now 21-2 overall.
The graduating senior girls were recognized prior to the game on Feb. 6, as is tradition for the last home basketball game of the season, but they honored themselves by helping pull out a last second, overtime win against Ripon. And they had to come from behind to do it.
After waiting almost two minutes of the first period to start the scoring, RHS led 12-6 after the first quarter. That was when the home net got quiet. With five minutes left in the first half, the Lady Indians had pulled to within one point, and finally went ahead with a two-pointer at the 2:35 mark. The first half ended with the Lady Bruins down 18-14, as Ripon outscored them 12-2 in the second frame.
Ripon again outscored host Riverbank in the third quarter, 9-5, leaving Riverbank trailing 27-19 going into the fourth quarter. Shooting got hot again for the Lady Bruins, outscoring the visitors 20-12 and going ahead in the final seconds of regulation play. However, Ripon pulled off a final two-pointer with 21 seconds left to tie the game, 39-39.
Play was tight at the beginning of the four minute OT period, but Riverbank was ahead 42-39 with two minutes to go. Ripon pulled even with 1:38 left. One bucket each brought the score even once more with 46 seconds left on the clock. A full court drive by junior Olivia Luu with 11.7 seconds remaining in OT were the go-ahead points, with a successful free throw the final point of the game, leaving the Lady Bruins on top, 47-44, as they had an 8-5 scoring edge in the extra period.
The JV girls, meanwhile, took a tough 58-7 loss to Ripon, not able to get anything going offensively and scoring in only three of the four quarters. Riverbank’s freshmen fought hard but ultimately fell in a 32-28 loss.
Seniors honored at the start of the Thursday contest were Chloe Arnold, Kendra Garcia, Toni Adams and Janelle Luu. Garcia and Luu are team captains this season.
Earlier in the week, the girls traveled to Hilmar for a contest and the varsity came away with a 59-45 victory. Coach Lupe Galindo had the team ready to go for the Monday, Feb. 3 showdown with the Yellowjackets and Riverbank outscored the host squad in every quarter on the way to the win.
The Lady Bruins held quarter scoring advantages of 15-10, 10-7, 17-14 and 17-14 to add up to the 14-point overall victory.
They were scheduled to travel to Modesto Christian for a tough test on Tuesday, Feb. 13 after The News went to press and will be back on the road for the regular season finale on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Hughson. The girls have lost only to Modesto Christian in TVL play this season, looking for a high seed and hopefully a home game to start the playoffs.
News editor Marg Jackson contributed to this report.