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JV's Go Down In Oakdale Tournament
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The Oakdale Basketball Tournament didn't go as well for the Riverbank junior varsity boys as for their big brothers

The junior Bruins lost all three of their games in the Oakdale Junior High School gym and were eliminated from the Rotarians annual event by Wednesday.

Riverbank was defeated, 67-18, by Los Banos; 40-34, by Waterford; and, 66-56, by Calaveras, placing somewhere near the bottom of the 16 teams involved.

"What with the holidays and some guys gone on family trips, we could only muster six players. That included a freshman to give us at least one substitute," said Bruin coach Derrick Burnett.

The Bruins best performance, he said, was in the last game against Calaveras.

The score by quarters, with Riverbank's numbers listed first, was 7-16, 16-20, 10-15 and 23-15. Top scorers for the Bruins were Levi Luca, with 21 points, and Diego Garibay, with 12.

"We had a slow first quarter, while they started quick and built a 13 point lead by halftime," said Burnett. "We played better defense in the second half. And our offense really took off at the end. But it was too little, too late."

For Monday's previous game against Los Banos, Burnett did not care to remember the score by quarters.

Evan Gunther and Luca were the leading scorers for Riverbank, with 8 points each. The Bruins did not shine either in defense or offense, their coach said.

The match against Waterford went a little better on the Tuesday. But the Bruins again experienced a cold start.

Riverbank fell behind, 4-8, in the opening quarter; tied Waterford, 10-10, in the second period; won the third quarter, 13-5; and lost the last, 8-15.

"The defense played well. They showed some energy, some intensity," said Burnett. "But our offense struggled. Evan fouled out in the last quarter five minutes before the end, and our offense suffered."

Riverbank's top scorers were Omar Fernandez, with 14 points, and Luca, with 11.

This week the Bruins will play Bret Harte at home on Friday, Jan.7, and begin league competition in another home game against Ripon Christian on Saturday, Jan. 8. Game time for the junior varsity is 5:30 p.m.