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Knights rout Gustine for piece of SL title

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POSTED February 17, 2012 1:03 a.m.

RIPON — The Knights may not have been at their best Thursday against Gustine.

But given that it was senior night, the Ripon Christian High girls squad needed only to be good enough.

The Knights (13-1, 20-4) came away with a 52-14 win over the Redskins, which, as it turned out, was good enough to clinch a share of the Southern League crown. Their last championship was earned in the Trans-Valley League back in 2004.

“What’s also good about a game like this was our seniors were able to play a lot more minutes together,” RC coach Ed Mulder said.

That group consisted of Mikaela and Morgan Alger, Mikayla Manus, Rachel Van Groningen, and Katie Thomas.

Mikaela Alger led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Morgan Alger had nine steals and two blocks, and Manus chipped in with six points, four boards, and two steals.

RC led from start to finish, but just getting started took some time.

It took a Manus pass to Mikaela Alger to open up the scoring midway through the first quarter. The two connected again moments later, with Manus also hitting a pair of free throws, giving the Knights a 9-2 advantage.

They added to that lead in the following period. Kaylie Colyn connected on a trey, Rachel De Vries scored on a put-back, and Jenny Wickham sank a bank shot.

Teagan Manus and Mikaela Alger later added field goals, helping RC take 23-6 lead into the break.

The Knights relied on ball movement in the third quarter, building up a 29-9 advantage thanks to baskets by Van Groningen, Mikaela Alger, and Mikayla Manus.

Gabby Clarke, Gaby Salmeron, and Alejandra Flores each had 3s in the second half, providing the few offensive highlights for Gustine (2-12, 3-20).

RC entered the final period with a comfortable 38-11 cushion.

Down the stretch, the Knights connected on 10 of their 14 free throw tries. Included were two each by Mikayla Manus, Mikeala Alger, Morgan Alger and Wickham.

RC celebrated the win by unveiling a league championship banner.

“We can now gear up for the playoffs,” said Mulder. “We’ll need to do a better job executing (our offense).”

Sophomore

Ripon Christian 62, Gustine 21

The Southern League-champion Knights got balanced scoring from Ellen Blankers, Carly Tillema, and Kirstin Bowman. Each scored 12 in RC’s win over the Redskins.

The Knights came out on fire, scoring 25 points in the first quarter.

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