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Lady Bruins Hang Tough In League Basketball Finale
Riverbank High senior Veronica Lopez stepped up the three-point arc with the clock winding down and tossed up the final shot of her high school career on Thursday.

The ball sailed to the back of the rim and ricocheted aside as the buzzer sounded off in a 52-27 loss to Hughson.

The disappointment on the senior's face was easy to read after the failed 3-point attempt, but minutes later she was all smiles as she handed out Bruin-shaped chocolate cakes and said goodbye to a group of Lady Bruin players she will never compete with again.

"It's my senior year, so I really wanted that shot," Lopez said. "But I'm happy with how we did this year and I am proud of what we accomplished with these girls."

The Bruins went 7-19 overall, but were unable to snare a Trans-Valley League victory. The team was throttled for a 101-7 loss to state title favorite Modesto Christian on Feb. 16.

"I feel like at times, aside from the second Modesto Christian game, we had stretches of playing quite well," Riverbank coach Tim Carnes said. "They want to play and they want to continue to get better."

On Thursday, Breanne Magana led scorers with six points while Lopez and Nia Zamora each added five. Melina Guzman chipped in two as well.

The team graduates Lopez, Zamora, Stephanie Romero, Jessica Hutson, Ruth Nunez, Stefani Araujo and Jessica McDonald, though Aimee Felix, Kaitlynn Deabenderfer, Magana and Amanda Cagle should lead a small group of returning players with scoring potential.

The junior varsity team fell 44-41 to Hughson despite a 19-17 lead at the half. Jade Finch scored 23 while Victoria Sandoval and Monica Guzman each added seven.

"It was a well played game for both teams," Riverbank JV coach Gary Dean said. "They made a lot of free throws down the stretch and we could not keep up."

The junior varsity Bruins finished 1-11 in TVL action.

"We got a lot better and saw some good moments for a team with three girls who had never played basketball before," Dean said. "They just continued to improve."