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JVs take Ripon Christian In Saturday Contest
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Riverbank High School junior varsity girls opened their league basketball season by defeating Ripon Christian, 41-31, in Saturday's away game.

"This was big for us after losing three games in a row," said Bruin coach Robert Mayfield. "We put constant pressure on the ball and limited RC's offense greatly. Most of their points came from mistakes that we made, and our defense made it extremely difficult for them to execute.

"We had key players get into early foul trouble, which allowed RC to stay relatively close throughout the game. But we had more players contribute offensively, which is what we've been stressing in practice the past week"

Cynthia Palomino had a breakout game. Colleen Cornish and Irene Castillo also provided some much-needed help on offense.

"We still have individual improvements to make offensively. But this was a good win and hopefully we can build on it," Mayfield added.

The score by quarters, with Riverbank listed first, was 10-4, 13-11, 12-10, 6-6.

Leading scorers were Palomino with 12 points, Vanessa Rodriguez with 11, Kelly Clancey with eight, Cornish and Castillo with four each and Jaylene Thomas with two.

In an away game on Jan. 3 against Argonaut, the Bruins lost, 23-29.

The score by quarters, Riverbank listed first, was 6-12, 7-6, 4-6, and 6-5

Top scorers were Rodriguez, with eight points, and Clancey and Briana Machutta, with four points each.

" This loss was hard to take because we weren't at full strength," said Mayfield. "Several girls missed practice the week before and were benched."

Despite the missing players, the Bruins still gave a solid effort defensively. But offensively, they looked timid and failed to take advantage of the opportunities their opponents gave them.

" We relied on one or two players to put points on the board and it hurt us. To be successful in the future, we need more players to step up and become offensive threats," said Mayfield.

Riverbank lost another game, 33-35, on Jan. 6, at home, to Amador

" We continued to suffer from the same problems in this game. Defensively, we did a great job in keeping the ball out of the paint against a team who had two very tall players. They had a very balanced attack on offense, with five players scoring six or more points," said Mayfield.

Clancey and Rodriguez continued to carry the Bruins on offense while they attempted to find more ways to get other girls involved. In the end, it came down to them not executing at critical points in the game.

" We shot two out of seven from the free throw line, and in a game decided by two points that's huge. We were down late in the game and experienced a few mental lapses that allowed Amador to slip away with the win," he added.

The score by quarters was 2-9, 5-6, 9-9, and 17-11.

Top Riverbank scorers were Rodriguez, with 16 points, Clancey, with 11, and Palomino, Thomas and Castillo, with two points each.