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Varsity Basketball Girls Drop Heartbreaker To Ripon
A one-point lead with under four minutes to play gave Riverbank High's varsity girls basketball team a good shot at host Ripon during Thursday's key Trans-Valley League contest, but the Indians made the shots that counted most.

Ripon exploded for an eight-point rally to close the game and bested Riverbank in a 49-42 final score to claim the No. 2 position in the league standings behind three-time section champion, Modesto Christian.

"Ripon was exactly what I thought they were going to be," Riverbank coach Tim Carnes said. "I think we are a better team than we played."

The Bruins capitalized on aggressive offensive play to sideline Ripon's leading scorer, Ruth Waters, with four fouls at the start of the fourth quarter. Waters returned with just over three minutes to play and sparked Ripon's late rally that put the Lady Bruins away for good. Kelsey Alexander broke past the Bruin defense and drained a baseline jump shot to put the Indians up five points with 45 seconds to play. She was Ripon's top scorer of the night (15 points) after repeated crashes into the paint against smaller Riverbank defenders.

"I didn't have anyone to match up with her size." Carnes said. "Ripon shot the ball well, moved well and defended okay."

Riverbank freshman Olivia Luu managed a game high 23 points with seven steals and a 7-for-10 showing from the foul line. She led Riverbank to a 9-7 second quarter advantage to force a 19-all deadlock at the half, but Ripon erupted for a 20-12 third quarter rally. Tiffany Edgar's lay-up with 3:45 remaining gave Riverbank a late lead and capped an 11-2 Bruin run to start the final period, but Ripon scored the final eight points of the game.

Edgar finished with four points, six blocks and 12 rebounds while Janelle Luu added 10 rebounds and 11 points. Tori Sandoval and Angel Harrell each scored two points for the Bruins while Kendra Garcia had three rebounds. The game vaults Ripon (13-5 overall, 4-1 TVL) into second place in the conference standings. Riverbank (11-5, 3-2) will need to play excellent in their remaining league contests to move up the SJS Division IV power ratings. Modesto Christian is expected to compete in the D-III bracket next season.

Riverbank hosted Hughson (10-7, 3-2) on Monday, though results were not available at press time. The Lady Bruins are at Modesto Christian (14-4, 5-0) on Thursday.