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Varsity Bruin Basketball Boys Stay Unbeaten
The latest trend for Riverbank High's boys basketball program has involved tough opponents crammed into a busy preseason schedule to start each year.

With five of Riverbank's first six games scheduled against returning Sac-Joaquin Section playoff qualifiers in only nine days, 2011 proved no different.

And Riverbank has developed a trend of winning as well. The varsity Bruins carry a 362-237 scoring advantage over opponents this season with a spotless 6-0 record after three big wins this past week. The Bruins beat Denair 58-44 on Dec. 6, followed by a 54-42 victory over East Union a day later, and shellacked Gustine 60-28 on Dec. 9.

"The whole point was to test ourselves early with quality teams," Riverbank coach Jeff Jennings said. "We are just focusing on trying to get better."

The victories are a direct product of unselfish ball control from a Riverbank offense that knows how to spread the wealth. Ten different players scored points against both Denair and Gustine, while three tallied 14 or more points against an East Union team that reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III postseason last year.

Alex Reynaga (14), Rolaun Dunham (16) and Kenny Veliz (18) played big roles in the win over East Union. Riverbank led 23-19 at the half and outscored the Lancers 15-9 in the final period of play.

Dunham, Luis Solario, Anthony Navarette and Joaquin Felix scored four points each against Denair. Reynaga landed a team high 14 points while Veliz (10), Robert Martinez (seven), Logan Nabors (six), Armando Manriquez (three) and Anthony Gonzales (two) all found the bottom of the net.

The Bruins outscored Gustine 24-4 in the first quarter and used a 20-7 third quarter advantage to snare a 37-point lead before the final period. Martinez scored 11 points in the win while Reynaga added 10 and Dunham nine. Veliz and Miguel Guzman put up eight while Manriquez (five), Marcus Benson (four), Nabors (two), Solario (two) and Oscar Nunez (one) all contributed to the scoring.

"This team is realizing that we have got a lot of guys who can score," Jennings said. "The nice thing about these guys is that they are always looking for one another.

"One thing we say is that we like to pass up good shots for a great shot."

The Bruins faced returning D-IV playoff qualifier, Bret Harte (4-1), to continue a grueling preseason pace on Tuesday, but results were not available at press time. The Bruins will host returning D-III playoff qualifier, Sonora (3-2), on Friday and travel to returning D-II qualifier, Los Banos (3-1-1) on Dec. 20.

The contests will prepare Riverbank for the Oakdale Rotary Classic that starts on Dec. 28 and ultimately a tough Trans-Valley League schedule in January.

"We have a tough stretch here coming up," Jennings said. "6-0 is nice but league is a different story."