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Lady Bruins Capture Another Consolation Title
If there is anything Riverbank girls basketball coach Tim Carnes can take from his team's preseason efforts, it will be the knowledge that losses do little to dampen Bruin spirits.

For the second straight tournament, Riverbank battled back from a first game defeat with consecutive victories and a consolation title.

The squad opened the Big Valley Tournament with a 41-24 loss to the host team, but fought through two straight wins to earn consolation honors.

The back-to-wins help Riverbank's varsity girls improve to 7-2 on the young season. The Bruins were 2-5 at the same point last year.

Against Big Valley, the team fell behind early and couldn't create enough late scoring opportunities to close the gap. Aimee Felix scored 15 to lead the team while Stephanie Romero added four, Amanda Cagle two and Breanne Magana one.

Riverbank bounced back with a 48-5 blowout of Tioga after an 11-point effort from Jessica Hutson. Veronica Lopez scored 10 while Nia Zamora, Felix and Magana each tallied six. Kaitlynn Deabenderfer added four while Ruth Nunez and Amanda Cagle scored two.

In the consolation finals, Riverbank overcame last year's tournament victor Global Charter 48-24 with stiff control of the game's pace and sharp transition play. Felix put up 15 points while Deabenderfer added 11 and Stephanie Romero seven. Hutson and Lopez each scored four while Zamora (three) and Jessica McDonald (two) also hit their mark.

"I feel this was our best effort to date in both directions," Carnes said. "This is the team I expected to develop and they have not disappointed me."

Riverbank hosted Summerville on Monday, though results were not available at press time. The team plays Firebaugh of the Central Section on Thursday in the opening round of the LeGrand Tournament.