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Varsity Bruins Undefeated In Early Season Action
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Six preseason games in eight days challenged Riverbank High's varsity boys basketball team in early December, but the Bruins responded with big efforts and a perfect start to the 2010-2011 season.

Riverbank toppled East Union 47-38 on Dec. 8, and ousted Denair in a 60-41 rout on Friday. That followed up the tournament-winning effort in their own Tip Off Tournament to start the month.

The Bruins (6-0) have the best preseason record of any Trans-Valley League team, and enter a series of six tough match-ups to close their non-league contest schedule.

"It's been a great start but we have a tough road ahead of us," Riverbank coach Jeff Jennings said. "I'm not sure how we will finish, but I'm really enjoying seeing these guys make a commitment to being the best they can."

East Union led Riverbank by one point entering the fourth quarter on Wednesday, but couldn't stop a 15-5 Bruin rally in the final period of play. Zack Gonzales corralled 13 of the 40 Riverbank rebounds and added 15 points. Rolaun Dunham chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals, while Manuel Jimenez scored eight. Anthony Navarette (seven) and Ivan Manriquez (five) also scored.

The Bruins led Denair 29-20 at the break and exploded for a 17-5 third quarter push. Gonzales had 20 points and 12 rebounds while Jimenez and Alex Reynaga scored eight each. Navarette and Bruce Gong each scored five, while Robert Martinez (four), Dunham (three), Manriquez (three), Santos Fuentes and Oscar Nunez found the bottom of the net.

Riverbank played Bret Harte (4-2) on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. The Bruins close the preseason with consecutive games against Sonora (3-2), Patterson (4-2) and Ripon Christian (4-3), the last an opening contest for the three-game Oakdale Rotary Classic.

Host Oakdale is fresh off a tournament title from the Save Mart Classic after the influx of football players who played in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III finals during Riverbank's Ron Peterson Tip-off Tournament.

The Bruins begin league play on Jan. 4 against Modesto Christian, winners of three games against Division I programs in 2010.