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Riverbank Boys Drop Two In TVL Action
There is nothing more challenging than preparing for a team that would likely give a couple of college programs a run for their money, yet that is exactly what the Riverbank Bruins were forced to do prior to their second loss in as many games with the Modesto Christian Crusaders in recent Trans-Valley League action.

The Bruins did all they could do with the league leading Crusaders, falling to the toast of the league 82-34 Jan. 29. Riverbank just could not rebound from a blistering Modesto Christian opening period where the Crusaders outscored the Bruins 28-8.

Offensively, Riverbank got into some sort of rhythm during the third period where they put up 14 points, but even that period saw the Bruins outscored by 17 points.

Francisco Pineda came out shooting against the Crusaders, knocking down three 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 13 points on the night. Riverbank's Donovan Wallace chipped in six points for the Bruins in the loss.

The Crusaders improved to 10-0 in league play, flourishing behind the play of UCLA-bound scoring machine Reeves Nelson, who finished with a game-high 22 points.

The Bruins trip to Hughson proved to be a closer contest for Riverbank, yet the ending just as frustrating as the Bruins fell to the Huskies 61-34 on Feb. 1.

Once again Riverbank witnessed a team come out of the locker room scorching as Hughson jumped out on the Bruins 20-9 after eight minutes of play. By halftime Riverbank trailed the Huskies 36-13 and a seven point third quarter left the Bruins with a deficit they could not make up.

Pineda continued to hold the hot hand for Riverbank, leading the team with an 18-point performance, while connecting on two 3-pointers. Teammate Mohamed Ali had a productive outing, finishing the contest with eight points, while teammate Lucas Pope found the stroke from beyond the line for three points.

The Bruins will look to get a tough win in TVL action playing good basketball as they play host to the Ripon Indians on Feb. 8. The Indians boast the league's second best record and clearly look to be on their way to a post-season berth.

Riverbank will then make the short road trip to Escalon to take on the Cougars Feb. 12 for the Bruins' second-to-last game of the season. Riverbank will unlikely be awarded a post season spot, so closing out the TVL campaign on a high note will be a primary focus for the Bruins.