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Third Quarter Letdown Knocks JVs Out
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A letdown in the third quarter marked all three games of the Bruin junior varsity boys this past week. Every time, they came out flat after halftime and posted only seven points against a much higher score by their opponents.

The upshot was Riverbank lost all their basketball games. Against Hughson at home on Tuesday, the score was 52-45; in an away game at Livingston on Friday, the outcome was a 66-52 loss; and in a home game against Patterson on Saturday, the score was 64-39 for Patterson.

Against Hughson, Riverbank led the first quarter at 13-10 and only yielded the second period by 15-13. But the boys fell behind, 14-7, in the third quarter, and then dropped the last period, 13-12.

"We played well in the first half. We were aggressive in offense and tough in defense," said coach Derrick Burnett. "But we came out very flat for the second half. Maybe it's because we only have six players on the squad. They run low on energy by the second half."

The leading scorer for the Bruins was Evan Gunther, with 11 points, who was trailed by Seth Echevarria, with 10 points.

After trailing Livingston by 10-9 in the opening quarter, the Bruins took the second period, 23-17. But, as in the Hughson game, they came out slow after halftime and scored only seven points to their opponent's 20. Livingston scored another 20 to Riverbank's 12 in the last period.

"We showed great intensity in the first half. But Livingston has 13 players on the bench and was subbing them in, five at a time, every three or four minutes," said Burnett.

Top scorer for Riverbank was Levi Luca, with 21 points; followed by Echevarria, with 16 points; and Ivan Nunez, with 13.

Two of his players felt unwell at school that day, but played in the evening anyway so as not to let down the team, Burnett noted.

It was the same old story against Patterson in Saturday's home game. The Bruins lost the first quarter, 14-8, hung in at 10-9 in the second period, but lost the third quarter by 23-7. Riverbank also yielded the final period, 17-15.

"We played well in the first half although we missed some easy layups," said Burnett. " But we looked tired in the second half, and just did not perform."

Luca hit 16 points for the leading Bruin score. Justin Ramos was next in line with six points.