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Varsity Bruins Can't Find Winning Way In TVL
After setting themselves up for a nice run through the competitive Trans-Valley League, the Riverbank High varsity boys basketball team have found themselves searching for their first league win after a disappointing 0-2 start.

The Bruins were not offered an easy path, opening league play with back-to-back road games against the city of Ripon's two talented teams in Ripon and Ripon Christian.

Riverbank opened up league action with a visit to the Knights and came out of the chute looking determined, jumping out to a 16-14 lead after one period of play. The Bruins' solid start was soon forfeited as the squad could only muster three points in the pivotal second period.

The Bruins were able to get back on track, putting up 24 points to Ripon Christian's 27 in the second half, but the second period damage had been done. The Bruins were outscored by nine points in period two and that proved to be the difference in the 53-43 loss on Jan. 20.

Donovan Wallace put together a productive effort on the offensive end, posting a game-high 13 points in a losing effort. Zach Gonzales fell in behind Wallace with an 11-point evening, while teammate Eric Page closed out the contest with nine points on three 3-point shots.

Riverbank's unfortunate scheduling put the squad back in Ripon only to face a more lethal program as they banged heads with the Ripon Indians on Friday night, Jan. 23. Ripon came out hot and never cooled off, blasting the Bruins 65-26 to improve to 2-0 in TVL action.

The Indians scorched the Bruins for nearly 40 first half points, and that, coupled with arguably Riverbank's worst first half offensive output spelled doom for the Bruins before the halftime intermission.

Riverbank could not find an answer for Ripon scoring threats Matt Ratto (18 points) and Ryan Baker (13 points) early, forcing the Bruins' quest for the first TVL win to hold off for another contest.

Mohamed Ali, Wallace and Page all turned in three points in the game, while Gonzales and Jose Moreno both chipped in four. Victor Anguiano paced the Bruins with his six-point effort.

The task of grabbing that first league win surely will not get any easier in the Bruins next contest as they prepare to host the TVL's top squad. Riverbank will meet up with the Modesto Christian Crusaders (Jan. 30) in what will be another monstrous test for a Bruin team currently on a four-game slide.

The Bruins will then make a trip to Hughson to take on the Huskies (Feb. 3) for another shot at a TVL win. The Bruins will come into this contest with an abundance of confidence after already knocking off the Huskies by seven points back on Dec. 30.

Riverbank's home game against Modesto Christian will get under way at 8 p.m. while the squad's contest with Hughson is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.