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Sierra wins ‘ugly’ first game at Ripon

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POSTED December 5, 2013 12:48 a.m.

RIPON – The first game of the season was a work in progress.

So said Sierra High basketball coach Scott Thomason after his team came away with a 48-38 non-league win at Ripon on Wednesday.

“At times, it was ugly basketball,” he said.

For starters, the Timberwolves (1-0) had trouble with the match-up zone by the Indians. That was much to the delight of coach Rod Wright.

“Sierra is one of the top teams in the area and we made them work,” he said.

While pleased with his defense, Wright’s concerns included taking care of the ball and scoring.

“We had 11 or 12 turnovers in just the first half,” he said.

As for the latter, Wright is hoping that will solve itself once Bradley Clark and Michael Morris return to basketball shape after recently completing the football season.

Ripon stayed within striking distance through much of three quarters – the Indians (0-1) led briefly, 15-13, at the 2:23 mark of the second thanks to a pair of free throws by Brock Herrin.

But Sierra quickly jumped back on top on sophomore Daniel Wyatt’s trey. He followed that up with a pair of free throws, with Carlos Quintanilla scoring on a drive to close out the first half.

Wyatt led all scorers with 13 points.

Down 20-15 at the half, Ripon made up some ground on a pair of 3s by freshman guard Cole Stevens to open up the third.

Hunter Johnson answered with a 3 of his own followed by pair of free throws to keep the Timberwolves on top.

The Indians kept it close on a three-point play and a put-back by junior forward Massimo Robbins, who also hauled in seven rebounds, coupled with an inside feed to Derek Hickman from Matt Uecker in the open court.

Ahead 33-32, Sierra then went on a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter. Devin Nunez got it started with a 3 and 6-foot-7 junior center Josh Patton connected on an inside feed from Bryson Sanders. Patton and Johnson, who hit a trey in the run, also forced turnovers as each drew a charge during that stretch.

Johnson finished with 12 points and Sanders, who had six rebounds including four on the offensive glass, had 9.

Patton had four offensive rebounds – nine boards altogether – to go along with a block and a steal.

Robbins led Ripon with 10 points while Stevens chipped in with 8, and Chase DePrue and Hickman had 6 each.

“For us, it was a good first game,” said Wright.

GIRLS

Edison 61, Lathrop 40

The host Spartans (0-1) struggled with turnovers and poor shot selection against Edison’s bothersome full-court press.

They were held to single digits in every quarter but the fourth, when they erupted for 21 points. Loreal Taylor registered 19 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

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