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Varsity Boys Split Pair, Gunning For Ripon
Two days after a disastrous fourth quarter surrendered 32 Escalon High points and squandered a 14-point lead, Riverbank's varsity boys basketball team took their aggression out on Orestimba, winning 80-46 in a Homecoming blowout at the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium on Friday.

The Bruins (15-6 overall, 4-5 Trans-Valley League) were listed 11th out of 35 teams on the second release of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV power ratings on Monday, and played No. 20 Hilmar on Tuesday, though results for that contest were not available at press time.

Riverbank needs to win all of their remaining TVL contests, especially a Feb. 15 bout with No. 5 Ripon, to snare a top-8 seed into the D-IV playoffs and host a first round game.

The top 16 teams make the playoffs, but after an 11-1 preseason stanza against some of the tougher teams in the section, the Bruins are looking for much more.

"We had a great crowd against Orestimba on Friday, with a lot of people turning up and our student section going nuts," Riverbank coach Jeff Jennings said. "It would be nice to take that into playoffs, and I think it would be a great advantage for us."

Riverbank lost an opportunity to close in on that home game after a 32-10 Cougar run in the fourth destroyed Riverbank's 41-27 lead after three quarters of play in Escalon on Feb. 1. The Bruins were hit with seven traveling calls during late possessions, and watched clutch Escalon treys pave the way for a dominant run from a program seeded No. 9 in the D-IV ratings.

"I'm still a little baffled by that fourth quarter," Jennings said. "Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong."

Rolaun Dunham scored 12 points on Escalon, while Zack Gonzales chipped in 10. Robert Martinez scored eight points, while Ivan Manriquez added seven and Antony Navarrete four.

Dunham exploded for a game high 17 points in the rout of Orestimba on Friday. Gonzales (11 rebounds) and Alex Reynaga each added 13 points while Manuel Jimenez (four 3's) added 12. Navarrete scored 10, while Rodrigo Silva (six), Manriquez (five), Martinez (two) and Bruce Gong (two) also scored.

"It was nice to see the kids bounce back." Jennings said. "The kids here are tough and they are used to adversity. Unfortunately you learn some tough lessons in life, but you have to roll with them."

The Bruins have Friday off for a league bye, and will use the break to prepare for a huge home contest against Ripon on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

The Indians were 48-43 victors in the first meeting, a game that represented Gonzales' first return to the lineup following a 17-day absence after an ankle injury at the start of league play.