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Foundation Games Kick Off RHS Basketball Season
Riverbank varsity center Chris Certuche, 23, tips off the Boys Foundation Game in the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium on Monday, Nov. 28. The Bruins also hosted their own Tip-Off Tournament over the weekend. News Photos By Ric McGinnis

Riverbank High School varsity basketball teams, both boys and girls, got their 2016-17 season underway this past week, first with the Foundation Games on Monday, then tournaments over the weekend.

The Foundation Games were both held at home, back to back, with the girls game going first, then the boys. As it turned out, both games featured the same opponents, Johansen High School from Modesto.

This was the 15th Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation games, which are a series of exhibition basketball games with the proceeds supporting the Section’s Dale Lacky Scholarship program.

Last year, the Foundation Games reportedly earned enough profits to fund 48 scholarships, totaling $30,000 awarded to local athletes. Each of the 26 leagues in the section is allowed to submit the names of one male and one female student-athlete for a guaranteed $500 scholarship.

Officials said Foundation Games were being played at 80 different sites throughout the Section, including 153 games. The varsity only games do not count in a team’s overall record, nor do they count against a team’s limit of games.

Referees and other service personnel generously donate their services for these contests as well.

The Sac-Joaquin Section is the local division of the California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for high school sports, which also helps organize the various leagues for competition.

In other action on the court this week for the Bruin squads, the freshman boys headed to Beyer High School for a three-day tournament.

Towards the end of the week, varsity and JV Bruin basketballers hosted the Tip-Off Tournament, Thursday through Saturday. In the case of the varsity Bruin boys, they lost a game early on the first day, becoming relegated to loser’s bracket competition.

With a win on Friday, the Bruins were playing for fifth place on Saturday afternoon, against McNair High School of Stockton.

After a slow, low-scoring first quarter, the half ended at 17-12, with Riverbank ahead. By the end of the third quarter, the score was tied, at 30.

A seesaw battle to the end of the game seemed to indicate it would remain a tie and force some kind of OT, and, within the final minute, a three-pointer tied the game at 40.

Two unanswered 2-point shots for the host squad looked like they would end the game, but a McNair foul at the other end of the court finished it with two bonus foul shots for the Bruins, with just a little over a second left on the clock, and the game ended with Riverbank on top, 48-40.

Over the same weekend, the JV Bruins were playing a Tip-Off Tournament of their own, beating Ripon Christian on Saturday, 59-56.

At the same time, Wednesday through Friday, the JV girls basketball team was competing in the Escalon Tournament, and the varsity girls played Thursday through Saturday in the Edison High Tournament in Stockton, both squads getting some valuable court time to work on running both the offense and defense ahead of league competition.

This week, the Bruin boys teams were to host Delhi on Monday.

The Lady Bruins were to host Oakdale last night, but then the girls won’t be playing again at home until Thursday, Jan. 5, when they are to host Ripon Christian. In the interim, there’ll be a lot of out of town tournaments.

On the docket for girls soccer, the Lady Bruins were to host Weston Ranch on Monday, Dec. 5, then travel to East Union in Manteca today. They’ll play in the Buff Cup Tournament at Manteca High School on Friday and Saturday.

Bruin boys soccer teams are to host East Union today.