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Tough TVL Season Continues For Varsity Lady Bruins

When the Riverbank Lady Bruins varsity basketball team walked off the court more than a month ago after beating Delhi High, the girls had no idea how few and far between the precious victories would fall.

Riverbank's tough go continued through another week of Trans-Valley League action when the Lady Bruins dropped contests to the Modesto Christian Crusaders and the Hughson Huskies in recent TVL play.

The Modesto Christian Crusaders showed up at Riverbank High on Jan. 14 riding an 11-game winning streak and sporting an undefeated TVL record. They showed no signs of slacking off, handling the Lady Bruins with ease, 72-27.

Unable to generate much offense in the first half, Riverbank went into halftime trailing the Crusaders by nearly 30 points, largely in part to the play of intra-league transfer Jessica Graham.

Graham, who starred at Ripon High over the past three TVL seasons, dominated the contest with 16 points, 10 boards, seven steals and five assists to pace Modesto Christian.

Hughson rolled out the welcome mats for the Lady Bruins on Jan. 17, entering the contest with the second best record in TVL action, two games behind league front-runners, Modesto Christian.

Riverbank was able to tangle with the Huskies, battling with the 11-4 squad before faltering down the stretch and coming up just short, 50-42. Riverbank orchestrated a brilliant second quarter where the Lady Bruins scored 13 points, yet the finely played second period could do nothing to erase a stagnant opening quarter.

The Lady Bruins misfired multiple times during the first quarter, amassing just four points to start the contest, gift wrapping an already dangerous Huskies squad a 10-point lead in the first eight minutes of play.

Riverbank was able to put their best basketball together during the middle periods, where Hughson outscored them by only four points. In the final period, Riverbank dominated on all facets, but their 13-4 outscoring of the Huskies just happened to be too little, too late.

The Lady Bruins were led by Vanessa Rodriguez and Irene Castillo in the loss, with Rodriguez finishing as the team's leading scorer with 14 points. Castillo held her own in the TVL contest, finishing in double digits with 10 points scored.

Jenni Manriquez and Jessica Hutton chipped in four points apiece, while teammate Jaylene Thomas closed out the game with three points.

The JV girls did not fare much better, falling to both their opponents this week as well.

Things will not get any easier for the Lady Bruins as they play host to the Ripon Indians on Friday, Jan. 25 followed by a trip to Escalon to take on the Cougars on Monday, Jan. 28. Both contests will tip off at 7:30 p.m.