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Sister Act - Lady Bruin Underclassmen Lead The Charge
Thunder and Lightning?

Yin and Yang?

Batman and Robin?

The perfect pet name for Riverbank High's dynamic duo on the girls basketball court is yet to be discovered, so for now the two will have to settle for the unceremonious title of 'The Luu Sisters.'

Sophomore Janelle Luu and freshman Olivia Luu have laid the foundation for a new tradition of offensive prowess and stubborn defensive play at Riverbank's varsity level.

They can shoot, rebound, steal, block, break the press, defend the paint and direct traffic like it's second nature. Seven games into the season, the veterans of California's Amateur Athletic Union account for over 60 percent of Riverbank's offense with team leads in points, rebounds, steals, assists and blocks.

And their production has translated to success. Riverbank is 5-2 with a tourney title (35th Annual Lion's Club Girls Invitational) and a 321-289 scoring advantage over opposing teams.

The team went 1-2 in the McNair Lady Eagles Classic on Dec. 8, 9 and 10, but gained some valuable experience against some of the best teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section. Tournament action started with a 44-4 rout over first-year Pacheco. Riverbank led 27-0 at the half and spread the wealth around with six or more points from six different players. Vanessa Vargas scored eight points while Olivia Luu (10 steals, eight assists) nabbed seven. Janelle Luu (11 rebounds), Tiffany Edgar (three blocks), Raine Gallagher and Tori Sandoval each scored six points while Angel Harrell (four points) and Amy McDonald (one) also scored. The Lady Bruins ran into returning Division I playoff quarterfinalist, McNair, in the tournament's semifinal round. McNair led by just 15 after two quarters of play, but pulled away in the second half for an 85-46 win. Olivia Luu was 13 of 17 from the stripe and landed 21 points and six steals in the loss. Janelle Luu added 10 points and two blocks while Edgar had seven points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Vargas scored six points with three assists as well.

Riverbank was downed by returning Division II playoff quarterfinalist, Inderkum, in a 75-44 third-place game a day later. Olivia Luu scored 20 points with two three-pointers, four blocks, four steals and six assists while sister Janelle tallied 14 points and six rebounds.

The tough games are what Riverbank needs to prepare for a solid Trans-Valley League schedule that includes perennial league juggernauts Modesto Christian, Ripon and Hughson. The big three have finished top-three for four consecutive seasons and MC has never lost a conference game since joining the league in 2006. The Crusaders have appeared in six consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section title games with five victories and three straight D-IV titles from 2009 to 2011. With Modesto Christian (5-0) still residing in the TVL and favored to win another section title, the rest of the conference will likely vie for second place and a strong conference record to multiply onto the TVL's league strength for the SJS power ratings.

Four TVL teams (MC, Ripon, Hughson and Hilmar) made the D-IV playoffs a season ago while Riverbank floundered to 2-10 in league and 7-16 overall. With key returning players Janelle Luu, Sandoval, Edgar and Vargas and new players Olivia Luu, Harrell, McDonald and Gallagher, depth and athleticism should push the Bruins into serious competition for the postseason. When asked if his team could finish second in the league standings, Bruin coach Tim Carnes had a quick reply.

"Yes," Carnes said. "I didn't even hesitate to say that. I think we are a good shooting team that has been able to score more now than in the past."