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Riverbank Varsity Boys Grab First TVL Win
Zack Gonzales made the most of his best effort of the season, scoring a game-high 24 points during the Riverbank Bruins' first Trans-Valley League win in a 55-45 victory over the Escalon Cougars.

The Bruins used a stifling second period to distance themselves from the Cougars, knocking off Escalon High in the Riverbank High gym in the Jan. 27 contest.

Gonzales, a sophomore, was on fire, connecting on five 3-pointers for his largest scoring outburst as a Riverbank Bruin. Teammate Jose Moreno held down the post, chipping in an eight-point evening, while Lucas Pope assisted the perimeter game, connecting for eight points as well.

Riverbank was able to hold Escalon to single digits in the pivotal second period and nearly matched Escalon basket-for-basket over the second half to secure the team's first TVL win.

As good as the Bruins felt after their 10-point victory over the Cougars, the realities of the TVL schedule set in like a dark cloud as Riverbank's next contest would include a visit from the Modesto Christian Crusaders. Modesto Christian came into the contest riding an eight-game winning streak and even with Riverbank's most valiant effort, the challenge of setting the Crusaders back with a win proved to be impossible as Riverbank dropped the TVL match up 86-46.

The Bruins saw their first quarter point total doubled as the Crusaders raced out to a 24-12 lead after one period of play. Riverbank was able to get a little more productivity over the second and third quarters, but a 21-9 final period doomed Riverbank's hopes of back-to-back TVL wins.

Gonzales was able to respond with another superb effort, pacing the Bruins with 12 points in the loss. Bruin teammates Eric Page and Moreno both came in behind Gonzales on the score sheet with nine point outings.

The Bruins will get the opportunity to avenge a double-digit road loss, as the squad rolls out the welcome mat for TVL opponent Ripon Christian on Friday, Feb. 6 as part of the school's Homecoming festivities. They were slated to be at Hughson for a Tuesday, Feb. 3 game after The News went to press.

Ripon Christian held on for a 53-43 win in the first meeting of the season, so it will be important for the Bruins to grab the Homecoming win on Friday and earn a split with the Knights.

The Ripon Indians will be coming to Riverbank on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Both games are scheduled for 8 p.m. tip-offs.

Junior Varsity

Riverbank's JV boys just missed taking down Escalon, falling to the visitors 58-55 in the Jan. 27 game. Escalon had a host of 3-point baskets that made the difference, although the young Bruins battled until the end and had a chance at the tying bucket in the closing seconds. They also lost on Friday, unable to get past the Crusaders.