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Varsity Bruin Hoop Boys Take Care Of Escalon

The Riverbank Bruins opened their contest against the Escalon Cougars poised to add another win to the record books, and that is exactly what Riverbank did in its 55-46 victory over the Escalon High basketball squad on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The Bruins jumped out on Escalon with an impressive first quarter in which Riverbank was able to build a 20-14 lead, getting the offense going early. The Bruins fiery start was short lived, though, as Escalon got back on track in a hurry with non-stop defensive pressure, holding the Bruins to just five points in the second period.

Escalon's offense picked things up a bit, pasting 16 points on the Bruins to walk into the halftime intermission with a five-point cushion. The roles would reverse as Riverbank came out of the halftime recharged by head coach Jeff Jennings' locker room conversation and delivered a defensive clinic that would earn the Bruins the win.

Riverbank put together one of its best quarter performances of the season, holding the Cougars to just five points in that pivotal third period, while unleashing for 14 points offensively and regaining the lead in the Trans-Valley League match up.

The Bruins would cruise to the victory, outscoring Escalon in the final period and earning their third TVL victory of the season.

Riverbank was led by the offensive energy of Francisco Pineda. Pineda closed out the contest with game-high honors, scoring 23 points in the win. Teammate Lucas Pope finished in double digits with 12 points, and Chris Mitchell closed out the leading scorers with six points.

The victory over Escalon got Riverbank back on track after falling to the Ripon Indians 55-46 on Thursday, Jan. 24. The Indians, second place in the TVL, jumped out on the Bruins early with nearly a 40-point first half. Riverbank had some success on the offensive end of the court, but could do nothing to keep pace with a potent Ripon offensive attack that put up double digits in each quarter.

Riverbank was able to outscore the Indians by nine points over the final two periods, yet found themselves trying to dig out of a hole that was too deep. Pineda finished the game as the Bruins leading scorer pouring in 12 points in the loss. Mitchell followed him with a seven-point night, while teammate Eric Page nailed two 3-point baskets to finish with six points.

The Bruins will try and keep climbing up the standings as they travel to Hughson to take on the Huskies in their next TVL battle, followed by hosting the Ripon Christian Knights on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Riverbank High.