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Ratto’s 23, McCreath’s defense lift Ripon past Linden

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POSTED January 6, 2010 2:37 a.m.
RIPON — Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Ripon High watched its lead over Linden dwindle down to a single point midway through the third quarter.

But with the sharp-shooting Matt Ratto leading the way, the Indians widened the margin en route to an important 52-45 victory in the first of four games against opponents from the Mother Lode League.

Ratto netted 14 of his 23 points in the second half to lead Ripon (6-8).

With an extensive preseason schedule winding down, Ripon head coach Rod Wright said he is happy with the progress the team is making as it prepares for the start of Trans Valley League action in two weeks.

“It might sound a little bit cliché, but we’re taking things one game at a time and trying to eliminate some of the mistakes we made in previous games,” Wright said. “Any win is a good win, and with the (Sac-Joaquin Section’s playoff) power rankings coming out on Saturday, it’s important to play good in these coming weeks.”

With Linden’s 6-foot-7 Aaron Judge looming under the basket, Ripon knew it had to step up defensively to shut down such a dynamic inside player, who on his last visit to Ripon dominated the Ripon Christian boards to win the Knight’s holiday tournament.

With Jake McCreath handling the bulk of the defensive assignment on Judge, the Indians double- and triple-teamed the big man – holding him to only 14 points and forcing the ball to wing players who were forced to take outside shots.

“He definitely earned that respect, and we knew that we couldn’t let him build any momentum,” Wright said of Judge. “Jake did a great job tonight defensively, and even though he had 14 points they were spaced out over the course of the game, and most came from offensive rebounds.”

Kody Wengel finished the game with 15 points for Ripon, while Jared Ratto added 10.

After facing eight Division I schools so far this season, Wright was pleased with the way his team was able to break down some of their plays Tuesday night, drastically cutting its turnovers and finishing plays under the basket.

“They weren’t pushing two or three guys on Matt tonight and just pressing us all game long like we’ve seen happen to us this year,” Wright said. “When things slow down like that, you can see things happen and we did that well tonight.”

Ripon Christian 61, Calaveras 45
RIPON — The Knights (10-2) cruised with Tyler Goslinga’s 25 points leading the way. Logan Vos complemented the 6-8 Goslinga’s play in the paint with 18 points, most of which came from the perimeter.

Linden 54, Ripon 34
LINDEN — Serena Hertel poured in 18 points for Ripon (6-7), but Linden (9-4) was too much.

 “In our losses there is a lull we hit in the third quarter where we miss a bucket or have a turnover and can’t recover,” Ripon head coach George Contente said. “Something will happen and will snowball from there.”
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