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JV basketball girls split at Escalon
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The Riverbank junior varsity girls' basketball team went 1-1 at the Escalon Tournament, losing to Pitman, 42-27, on Dec. 2 but coming back to a 44-30 win over Denair on Dec. 3.

The JV girls are now 2-1 on the season.

Riverbank fell behind early in the Pitman game, losing, 18-8, after the first quarter and 24-10 at halftime. Top scorers were Vanessa Rodriguez with 10 points, Kelly Clancey with eight, and Irene Castillo with four. Heather Medrano had three, and Colleen Cornish scored two.

"We got off to a very slow start, playing lazy defense and making poor decisions on offense," said coach Robert Mayfield. "With all due respect to Pitman, we beat ourselves, turning the ball over 21 times which allowed Pitman to execute in transition and convert many easy baskets. As bad as this game went, it will ultimately serve as a learning experience and help is improve in the future."

The next day against Denair, Riverbank was ahead 20-16 at halftime. But the girls used a 10-2 third-quarter advantage to take control of the game.

"At halftime, we simply told our girls to quit playing at the other team's pace," Mayfield said. "The second half was a different team. We pressured the ball more and created a lot of turnovers. We ran on them and wore them down, it was a great effort by the girls on both sides of the ball."

"Vanessa and Heather really took control of our offense and led the way in the second half," he continued. "Briana and Colleen gave superb defensive efforts, while Kelly and Irene were extremely tough on the boards. Overall, it was a great team effort in the second half."

Rodriguez shined with 22 total points, and Castillo scored 10. Clancey and Medrano both scored four, while Briana Machutta and Cynthia Palomino scored two each.

The JV squad hosts Gustine tonight, Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 5:30 p.m.