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Varsity Basketball Bruins Hang Tough In Contests
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Riverbank High's boys basketball team played tough with one of the best small school teams in the section on Friday, ultimately losing in 64-54 fashion to host Linden.

The Lions entered the contest with wins over two of the Trans-Valley League's better programs (Escalon and Ripon Christian), and represented the Mother Lode League well on the back of college bound 6 foot, 7 inch Aaron Jud.

Riverbank held Jud to just three second half points and trailed by just four points late in the contest before converted Linden free throws could put the game away.

"It came down to the wire," Riverbank coach Jeff Jennings said. "It was a really cool environment to play in. Linden came out under a spotlight with a fog machine and music blaring, but we didn't let it get to us."

Bruin Zack Gonzales scored 17 points with 15 rebounds in the contest. Benji Leal added 12 points while Robert Martinez came through with a big game to score eight.

"Defensively I felt we did a good job," Jennings said. "They beat RC and Escalon, so it was good for us to get a look at that kind of team. We just have to do a better job taking care of the ball."

The Bruins (9-5) had beat Argonaut 62-58 on Tuesday Jan. 5, and continue preseason play at home against Amador on Friday, Jan. 15.

The Buffaloes (13-2) have been tough this preseason and should represent another stiff challenge for a Bruin program ready to push itself with Trans-Valley League play looming.

"I think 9-5 is a good spot to be in going into league," Jennings said. "Each win is important and every game is big."