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Ripon High coach piles up 100 TVL wins

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Ripon Christian’s Dalton Koslosky (10) puts the pressure on Ripon’s Cole Herrin on a fast break Saturday as the Indians prevailed 61-53.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED January 27, 2013 6:38 p.m.

For Ripon boys basketball coach Rod Wright, winning his 100th Trans Valley League game was about as meaningful as a rerun of The Jerry Springer Show.

I’m sure when the Indians blasted Orestimba 68-28 last week for his signature win he had an inkling of individual pleasure, yet that moment of satisfaction likely didn’t last long.

I mean with him deciphering where his team stands in the postseason bracket possibilities – three weeks in advance – is work enough.

He’s put together one of the area’s more impressive runs and he’s done it with little to no fanfare. I guess that’s what it’s about for the good coaches – try and help kids to become men, relay a message about competing and count your wins when you’re old.

Ripon High basketball coach Rod Wright has definitely succeeded there.

His most recent trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section championship is probably the one that paints his best portrait. The Ripon Indians simply should not have been there and there they were.

Matched up with the no-holds-barred-recruiting-okayed-basketball-factory from Salida, Ripon stood on the pristine Arco, uh, Power Balance, uh, Sleep Train, wait, wasn’t it called…..that arena’s floor ready to do the unthinkable.

His undersized, overmatched Indians trailed by just five points with one quarter to play. Wright’s team would fight until they had to stop, but stood on the court with a 20-point loss and the taste of being so close.

Wright in classic Rod Wright style found his local media ties and offered a heartfelt grin that could make a hostage in Guantanamo Bay smile.

“They played hard didn’t they?” he beamed, knowing his group fought the good fight.

The Indians have always played hard under Wright, no matter what the group looked like (although the groups have always looked relatively similar). He hasn’t had too many 6-foot-4 inch athletic guards that blossomed at the Division-I level. Maybe he’s had one.

Yet, Ripon plays everybody in the Trans Valley League as hard as possible, and believe it or not, there are some teams that don’t feel they have a chance to beat a Rod Wright-coached Ripon team.

After putting together one of the squad’s more impressive wins of the season, a 61-53 victory over Ripon Christian Saturday, the Indians were still the Indians. A near-perfect 17-of-18 free throws converted in the fourth period sealed the deal and had to make Wright blush in the privacy of his ball club.

The, it was back to the basics. No loss is ever too devastating while no win too satisfying. The man has been the model of consistency in a Ripon program that has consistently won during his tenure. There is no better example of a coach’s impact on a team then the manner in which they perform. With eight guys or 18, Ripon High is going to compete, and Rod Wright has a lot to do with that.

Wright currently has his squad resting at 4-2 in TVL play with his 101st victory, but you couldn’t tell it. Wright is just business as usual. He cares way more about this year’s SJS power ratings formula then he does his silly 100th league win.

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