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Ripon boys net two TVL first-teamers

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POSTED March 5, 2013 1:26 a.m.

RIPON – Senior Cole Herrin carried the Ripon boys basketball team to a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth.

The burden of leadership, creativity and big plays now belongs to junior Chase DePrue.

The torch was passed on Monday with the announcement of the all-Trans Valley League’s first team and honorable mentions.

Herrin and DePrue were first-team selections on a list dominated by the TVL’s resident king.

Modesto Christian (26-3) went 12-0 in league – yet again – and had four players named to the first team, including TVL MVP Raymond Bowles.

Joining Bowles were TJ Wallace, Anthony Townes and former Weston Ranch point guard Zerrion Payton, who led the TVL in steals (4.5) and assists (5.5).

Bowles and Wallace represent the University of Pacific’s backcourt of the future. Both signed national letter of intents to play for the Tigers next season.

Former East Union guard Tyras Rattler was one of three Crusaders named as honorable mentions. Christian Ellis and Mason Washington were the others.

Rattler, a 6-foot junior, is averaging 11 points and two steals for a Crusader team that has won 115 consecutive league games and captured 15 Sac-Joaquin Section titles in 17 years.

“This is the most talent-laden team I have seen at MC since (Chuck) Hayes and Richard (Midgley) were there,” Ripon coach Rod Wright said. “They are deep and any nine guys could play and play well.”

Runner-up Riverbank (10-2, 24-3) swept the league’s other major awards. Jeff Jennings was named Coach of the Year and senior Rolaun Dunham was Most Outstanding Player.

Kenny Veliz, Markus Benson and Reilly Nabors (honorable mention) rounded out the Bruins’ all-TVL selections.

TVL scoring champion Alec VonAlvensleben (18.8 points per game) and Brian Gregorio were Escalon’s only first-team selections, while Philip Kimble was an honorable mention.

Ripon finished fourth in the TVL at 6-6 and 11-17 overall. Despite its lopsided record, the Indians clinched a Division IV playoff berth with the No. 10 seed.

Herrin was the Indians’ catalyst.

“He never came out unless he fouled out or we were too far ahead,” Wright said. “He was the manager of our offense and the leader of his team. We were a different team without him in the game.”

The senior point guard led the Indians in scoring (13.4) and assists (2.6) and was second in rebounds (4.9) and steals (1.8), but turned heads in Trans Valley League play with his drive.

The dribble-drive, that is.

Herrin led the TVL in free throws made and ranked among its leaders in free-throw shooting percentage.

He made 133 free throws – 42 more than the next closest player – and shot 76 percent from the line.

He had six games of 20 or more points, including a season-high 28 points against Hilmar and 27 against crosstown rival Ripon Christian.

Herrin had 23 points in a first-round playoff loss at Encina Prep.

DePrue was a force in league play, recording seven double-digit scoring games. His season high of 17 points came in a win over Hilmar on Feb. 8.

Does the burden of leadership pass from Cole to DePrue with this honor?

In a word…

“Yes,” Wright said, but Chase doesn’t understand yet how to play at that level nor does he realize how talented he is. He is very gifted athletically. If he can put all those things together, he will be very good. I saw the team look to him when we played Escalon and Cole fouled out. We needed someone to step up. He did.”

Hughson’s Jorge Ayala was the last first-team selection. Hilmar’s Jordan Ahid and Hughson’s Dovendre Stenderdo were named honorable mentions.

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