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KNIGHTS IGNITED

Ripon Christian knocks off rust, Sac Waldorf

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KNIGHTS IGNITED

Ripon Christian head coach Ed Mulder goes over the game plan prior to the start of the second quarter on Thursday during a 51-27 rout of Sacramento Waldorf in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin S...

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/


POSTED February 28, 2014 12:48 a.m.

RIPON – Lillie Olson was a significant reason Sacramento Waldorf made it to the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament Thursday night.

The Waves’ 6-foot sophomore center entered the contest averaging 16 points a game, but her stellar play did not continue against third-seeded Ripon Christian, who punched its ticket to the semifinal following a 51-27 victory.

“(Ripon Christian) had a slow start because they haven’t played for a week,” Sacramento Waldorf head coach Brian Wolfe said. “But they picked it up. Their shots weren’t dropping, but if they are, (RC) is going to be a scary team to deal with.”

The Knights’ senior point guard Teagan Manus wasn’t shooting precisely but still managed to record 10 points. Despite her offensive struggles, the reigning Southern League MVP was still distributing the ball, crashing the boards and pushing the ball up the court effectively.

Ripon Christian (22-3) junior Ellen Blankers stepped up and led all players with 14, but it was 6-foot, 1-inch senior Amber Hilver’s effort on the defensive end which proved to be critical in slowing down the Sacramento Waldorf offense.

“We didn’t play extremely well, but (Hilvers) played really good defense,” Ripon Christian head coach Ed Mulder said. “(Olson) makes them go, and that’s what got them here to the playoffs.

“(Olson) scored on a few inbounds passes, but other than that we really shut her down.”

Ripon Christian held Sacramento Waldorf (13-13) to single digits in every quarter.

The Knights closed the first half on an 11-0 run after Clare Kennedy cut Sacramento Waldorf’s deficit to 15-10 with a 3-ball at the 5-minutes, 41-second mark of the second quarter.

Ripon Christian pushed a five-point advantage out to 26-10 capped by back-to-back buckets via Blankers just before the half.

Midway through the second frame, Manus was held scoreless and was 0 of 6 from the field.

“I saw Teagan wasn’t (shooting) so well, so I just tried to race down the court as fast as I could to help her,” Blankers said.

Blankers provided plenty of help, as did 5-9 senior Adrianna Van Groningen (nine points). Van Groningen netted five of her total during the third quarter, where the Knights held the Waves to just three points.

In that third frame, Ripon Christian scored 15 unanswered, which included Van Groningen’s second trey of the game that made it 39-10 with 10:30 remaining.

Manus scored the Knights’ last four points of the third quarter to make it 43-13.

Ripon Christian outscored the visitors 14-8 in the final eight minutes, which included six via junior Pam Radach (six points, four rebounds). Hilvers (eight points) registered the first bucket of the fourth quarter, which provided the Knights their largest lead of the game at 45-13.

Olson (six points) was held 10 points below her average, while teammate Zoe Latzer added six.

Ripon Christian’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday against No. 2 seed Capital Christian at Galt High at 7 p.m.

Capital Christian cruised 77-24 over seventh-seeded Gustine on Thursday.

“(Capital) is really good,” Mulder concluded. “We’ll have our hands full (Wednesday), but I just challenged the girls (last night). We have to bring our best game, and we haven’t played a lot of competition.”

The winner of Ripon Christian-Capital Christian will advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title game March 7 at 4 p.m. at Sleep Train Arena.

“(Ripon Christian) will have their work cut out for them,” Wolfe concluded. “(Capital) is going to press them like crazy.”

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