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Lady Bruins Go 2-1, Take Consolation In Escalon Lions Tournament
And just like that, Riverbank High's girls varsity basketball team has matched their win total for the last two seasons combined.

The team went 2-1 in the Escalon Lions Club Basketball Tournament in games Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to nab a consolation championship and a 3-1 start to the 2009-10 season.

It's worthy of some Bruin celebration, especially considering the team went just 3-46 from November of 2007 to the end of last season.

"We are really thrilled," Riverbank coach Tim Carnes said. "They played so hard every game that I ran out of ice packs, but that's just their style."

The team opened with eventual tourney champion, Redwood Christian, and suffered a 32-11 defeat after post play from a 6 foot, 2 inch forward dominated most of the game.

But the team got back on track with a 35-13 rout of Delta Christian after a 17-7 lead at the half that opened up with a 12-2 third quarter run. Veronica Lopez led scoring in the win with 10 points, four rebounds and three steals. Aimee Felix added eight points while Breanne Magana and Stephanie Romero each scored four.

In the consolation finals, Riverbank overcame a late Downey lead with a dominating fourth quarter, led by the Bruins' leading scorer, Jessica Hutson. The team won 26-20 in a contest that was controlled by a high pressure Lady Bruin defense.

"I was really encouraged that we scored well in that fourth quarter," Carnes said. "We just kind of took it away from Downey."

Riverbank played Delhi Monday, though results were not available at press time. The team will take on competitors at the Big Valley Tournament in Modesto on Thursday.

"We are a long way on offense from getting it right, but we are very strong defensively, though we still lack height," Carnes said.