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Lady Bruins Varsity Squad Climbs Consolation Ladder
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Freshman sensation Janelle Luu scored 24 points for Riverbank High's varsity girls basketball team in a 53-34 rout of Venture Academy on Saturday.

The win awarded the Lady Bruins consolation championship honors and a 2-1 finish in the Big Valley Tournament in Modesto.

"I was disappointed because I felt it was a tournament we should have won," Riverbank coach Tim Carnes said. "But it was nice to get some more games in, and the girls played well."

The Bruins had dropped a 36-27 contest to Waterford in the tourney's opening round. Riverbank trailed by just one point at the half and only five points going in to the fourth quarter, but allowed an 8-4 Wildcat rally in the fourth seal the decision.

The final score was Waterford's lowest offensive output in any of their five wins (two losses) this season, the Lady Bruins clamping down on defense. Aimee Felix paced the Bruins with 14 points, while Luu chipped in seven and two each by Yessica Blanco, Kaitlynn Deabenderfer and Lissette Reyes.

Riverbank (4-3) went on to nab a 57-20 victory over a young Mountain Oaks program in the second round, and saw some quality production from reserve players Toni Adams (six points) and Genisa Contreras (two). Luu scored 16 while Breanne Magana added 11 and Felix tossed in nine. Blanco scored five and Reyes put up three as well.

The consolation championship win over Venture Academy came amidst a pack of unruly fans who shouted "miss" to Bruin athletes at every attempt from the free throw line. Luu still collected her game high 24, while Deabenderfer chipped in 10. Magana (seven), Blanco (five), Felix (four) and Adams (two) also scored.

The Lady Bruins have already seen sharp improvements and big scores in a preseason that lands them just three wins short of last year's season-long victory total.

Only one Trans-Valley League program, Modesto Christian (5-2), has as many preseason wins.

Riverbank hosts the Big Valley Tournament winners, Big Valley (4-2), on Monday at 7:30 p.m.