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Lady Bruins Hit Brick Wall In Pair Of TVL Losses
A bounty of success for Riverbank High's varsity girls basketball team was suddenly claimed by Trans-Valley League rivals over the course of four days during the second week of conference play.

The Bruins (11-5 overall, 1-2 TVL) were left stunned after a 44-39 defeat at the hands of Escalon (8-9, 2-1) on Jan. 7, then faltered 62-57 in a pivotal TVL battle with Hilmar (13-3, 1-2) three days later.

"Nothing to say about our performance at Escalon," Riverbank coach Tim Carnes said on Monday. "Same with Hilmar."

The defeats could badly hamper Riverbank's hopes for a third straight playoff appearance, considering Modesto Christian, Ripon and Hughson sit atop the conference standings and had two meetings apiece left to play against Riverbank as of Monday.

Since only Orestimba (5-13, 0-3) appears out of the running and Modesto Christian (10-5, 2-0) isn't likely to lose its first league bout since joining the TVL in 2006-07, five teams are left to battle for a conference winning percentage of .500 or better to ensure top billing in the Sac-Joaquin Section power ratings.

Riverbank played Ripon on Monday, though results were not available at press time. The Lady Bruins continue TVL action with Hughson on Thursday, Jan. 17. The Huskies fell to Ripon but bested Hilmar to open conference play.