Ending the regular season with a tough loss on the road, the Riverbank girls looked to bounce back in the opening round of the basketball playoffs.
The varsity took a 46-43 road loss on Tuesday, Feb. 18, with one Hughson player exploding for more than 30 points. Riverbank took a 16-9 lead after one but Hughson returned the favor with a 14-4 advantage in the second quarter, leading it 23-20 at the half.
The teams matched points, 11-11 in the third, 12-12 in the fourth, so host Hughson was able to hang on for the 3-point win. Last time the teams met, Jan. 23 in Riverbank, the Lady Bruins walked away with a 67-47 win.
The loss dropped their record in Trans-Valley League play to 9-3, trailing just champion Modesto Christian in the league standings. Olivia Luu had 16 points and eight rebounds in the loss to Hughson, sister Janelle had 13 points and seven boards.
Hughson’s Jessica Garcia did most of the damage herself, piling up 31 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals for the host Lady Huskies.
The varsity Riverbank girls went into the playoffs as the Number 5 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs and were scheduled to face off with Number 12 Summerville in the Bruin gym on Tuesday, Feb. 25 after The News went to press. The winner there moves on to the second round game against the winner of the Bradshaw Christian (8 seed) vs. Hilmar (9) on the higher seeded team’s home court on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.
For Riverbank, the 9-3 league mark was a solid second place showing, while they were 21-4 overall.
The JV girls lost a 50-23 decision to Hughson in the finale.