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Ripon Christian completes sweep of rival

Knights prove first win was no fluke with balanced scoring, effective ‘D’

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Ripon Christian completes sweep of rival

Ripon Christian guard Will Heersink fearlessly takes it to the hoop in front of Ripon forwards Dane Wells and Kyle Mendel.


POSTED February 18, 2009 5:31 a.m.
RIPON — Perhaps it wasn’t an upset after all.

Ripon Christian beat crosstown foe Ripon for the second time this season Tuesday at home, this time doing so in more impressive fashion, 56-50.

The Knights opened up a double-digit lead early and staved off Ripon’s late rally to secure the second-place spot in the Trans Valley League. On Jan. 30, Ripon Christian upended the Indians 56-51 in overtime with two starting guards out.

Ripon Christian head coach Ron Vander Molen acknowledged that his Knights (6-3, 15-10 overall) caught their rivals on an off night the first time around. This time, he fully credits the team’s all-around effort for the victory.

“Personally, I wanted to prove that the last one wasn’t a fluke,” Vander Molen said. “I could tell during our pre-game talk that they were really up for this game. They weren’t out to prove anything, they just wanted to get second place. They went out and did it.”

Ripon Christian center Tyler Goslinga sealed it with 11.9 seconds left, grabbing an offensive rebound off Daniel Van De Pol’s missed free throw and rattling it in from the post. Goslinga was fouled in the process, as went on to convert his fourth three-point play of the night.

Goslinga finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but unlike the first intracity showdown it wasn’t all him Tuesday. In their first meeting, Goslinga had 27 points and 15 rebounds.

At full strength, the Knights were able to get scoring contributions elsewhere. Wing Arie Den Dulk had one of his best performances of the season with a 17-point effort.

Everything seemed to fall for Den Dulk, including two 3-pointers.

Well, almost everything.

Den Dulk missed a wide-open dunk on a fastbreak opportunity with 3:50 left in the third, but all was forgiven considering the outcome.

“It was a rivalry game, we had to get pumped up today,” Den Dulk said. “I played hard and I played well. It was fun.”

And Ripon Christian wasn’t necessarily at full strength. Daniel Van De Pol missed the last Ripon game with an ankle sprain and was still recovering from strep throat Tuesday. He keyed the Knights’ early push, pumping in six straight points in the first quarter. He ended up with 12 points.

“He sucked it up for the team today,” Vander Molen said of Van De Pol. “We really needed him.”

Ripon (4-5, 13-13) struggled once again to break the Knights out of their zone defense. The Indians’ two top scorers, Matthew Ratto and Efren Sifuentes, were scoreless at halftime, and they ended up combining for 11 points.

Sifuentes drained two 3’s and scored all eight of his points during Ripon’s late comeback attempt. Ratto came into the game averaging 15.2 ppg, and Sifuentes 13.1 ppg.

The loss may have put an end to Ripon’s postseason hopes. The Indians are ranked 15th in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff power ratings, but Tuesday’s loss to the Division V Knights could be enough to take them out of the top 16.

“We’ve been struggling the last three weeks,” Ripon coach Rod Wright said. “We just can’t get anything put together. It was just one of those things where they got us with their zone and we couldn’t shoot. When you can’t shoot that affects the rest of the way you play.”

Dane Wells led Ripon with 15 points and six rebounds. Point guard Ryan Baker did his best to spark the Indians’ stagnant offense, finishing with 11 points, five assists and three steals.
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