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League Play Begins For Bruin Hoopsters
The Bruins David Hickman (15) prepares to shoot around an Escalon defender in boys varsity basketball action at home on Friday, Jan. 8. The game was a heartbreaker, with RHS fighting back to a tie at the end of regulation, only to slip to a two-point loss in overtime, 61-59. RIC McGINNIS/THE NEWS


Despite high school still being out for winter break last week, Trans-Valley League basketball games began for both girls and boys teams.

The final non-league games were played on Saturday, Jan. 2, with the Bruins traveling to Enochs High School in Modesto and the Lady Bruins hosting Sierra of Manteca.


RHS Boys Basketball

On Friday, Jan. 8, the three boys teams hosted rival Escalon’s Cougars in the TVL opener.

Only the freshman Bruins had good news. After being behind most of the game, they fought back to a 48-41 finish at the final buzzer against the youngest Cougar squad.

The JV Bruins finished down by 9, losing 46-35 in their game that night.

The Varsity lost a heartbreaker in their game. They fought to keep it tied up at 14 after the first frame, then got behind before tying it up at 23 all at the end of the half.

By the end of the third quarter, the Bruins were down by just three points, 39-36. In the fourth, they kept within a couple of points of the Cougars, and through the last 30 seconds, pulled up to tie, 47 all, by the end of regulation time.

In the four-minute overtime period, Escalon pulled ahead, but at the end, Riverbank closed the gap. With multiple timeouts in the closing seconds, the Bruins just couldn’t get the ball to fall in the final second, losing the game 61-59 at the final buzzer.

The next day, the Varsity and JV boys teams travelled to take on the Liberty Ranch Hawks in non-league play.

The varsity Bruins fell 69-40, on Saturday, Jan. 9, while the JV Bruins came up short, 60-48.

With classes resuming at RHS this week, the boys teams were scheduled to host Ripon Christian High School on Tuesday, Jan. 12, and welcome Hilmar on Friday, Jan. 15.


RHS Girls Basketball

On the girls’ side of the court, Trans-Valley League play began on Tuesday, Jan. 5, as the Lady Bruins hosted the Mustangs of Mountain House, a community to the west of Tracy, north of Highway 205. The school district is in its second year of varsity competition, being newly formed.

The Little Lady Bruins won the JV contest, 33-15, while the varsity team came up short in their league opener.

Although leading 13-6 after the first quarter, the Lady Bruins had just a two-point edge, 28-26, by halftime. They were down by just one at the end of the third period, 41-40, but slipped to a 64-59 loss by the end.

On Thursday last week, the schedule called for Escalon to visit, but the location was changed to a home game with the Lady Cougars.

The Lady Bruins lost a close one that night, finishing at 46-42. The JV score was not reported. Neither Riverbank nor Escalon has a freshman girls team.

This week’s schedule called for a visit to Ripon Christian on Tuesday, Jan. 12, then to Hilmar on Thursday, Jan. 14. The Lady Bruins won’t be playing at home again until Feb. 4 when Ripon Christian comes here to play.


Middle School Basketball

With the resumption of school this week, Cardozo Middle School sixth and seventh grade boys basketball’s first game was scheduled at home against El Portal from Escalon on Tuesday, Jan. 12. It was scheduled to be the first of seven home games for the season, with a start time of 3:45 p.m.