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Hoop Boys Soar Toward Playoffs
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Riverbank High's varsity boys basketball team is clinging to a third seed into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs like it's their last collective meal.

The Bruins (19-2 overall, 7-2 TVL) soared to a 70-59 victory over Escalon on Jan. 31, and crushed Orestimba 66-41 on Friday. The wins only further Riverbank's position to claim a top-four placement into the D-IV bracket. A victory over host Ripon (12-11, 5-3) on Feb. 14, will all but cement an important third seed.

"Right now we want to get the highest seed possible," Riverbank coach Jeff Jennings said. "To be honest we have not really hit our stride where all five players on the floor are clicking at the exact same time.

"We have not had that game yet where we can sit back and enjoy the ride, but it's coming."

Riverbank was listed third on the latest release of the Sac-Joaquin Section power ratings and played Hilmar (12-12, 3-6) on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. Since the No. 4, 5 and 6 teams on the SJS power ratings have all suffered recent setbacks, Riverbank can likely maintain its position by simply winning at least two of their final three games. The Bruins put visiting Escalon away with a terrific 23-14 third quarter rally. Rolaun Dunham scored 22 points in the win. Alex Reynaga tallied 19 while Kenny Veliz (12), Robert Martinez (six), Logan Nabors (four), Anthony Navarette (four) and Markus Benson (three) all scored.

All 16 players on the Bruin roster played roles in the win over Orestimba, and Dunham led all scorers with 18 points. Navarette chipped in 12 while Reynaga (eight), Nabors (eight), Markus Benson (seven), Martinez (four), Luis Solario (four), Veliz (two) and Anthony Gonzalez (one) all found the bottom of the net.

"Our goal at this point is to be the best prepared team we can before playoffs," Jennings said. "Everything at practice is up-tempo game-speed stuff. Conditioning is great but I think you can condition while you play."


Riverbank rallied a complete program sweep of Escalon after a 46-42 junior varsity win and 62-49 freshman victory.

The JV team snuck past Escalon after a 13-point game from Freddie Capas and solid scoring from Reilly Nabors.

The team beast Orestimba three days later in a 43-35 score after a 12-point game from Nabors and 10 points by Tristin Rogers.

"We won both games playing defense really well," Riverbank coach Joel Jimenez said. "The boys are really buying into the program. We just have to continue to put the work in."

Freshmen were led in the victory over Escalon by Ylii Lopez, who was in double figures by the end of the first half.