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Vander Weide leads Knights to semis

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Ripon Christian’s Cade Alger attacks the basket against Calder Appel (10), Kabir Karwal (34) and visiting San Francisco Waldorf in the CIF Northern California Division VI Championship opener Wednes...

POSTED March 8, 2018 2:08 a.m.

Andrew Vander Weide nearly did it all against San Francisco Waldorf.

Ripon Christian High’s 6-foot-7 senior had 24 points, 10 rebounds and two steals to lead his top-seeded team past the No. 8 Wolverines, 79-49, in the opening round of the CIF Northern California Division VI playoff game on Wednesday.

He also helped perform the National Anthem with the RC Knight Sounds under the direction of Bob DeRueter just prior to winning the opening tipoff and scoring the first seven points of the game.

“It was all about my teammates,” Vander Weide said. “I wouldn’t have this type of game without them.”

Next up for Ripon Christian (20-9) is No. 4 Fall River at home on Saturday. Fall River, the reigning champion, defeated Cornerstone Christian, 84-68.

The Knights have the enviable position of homecourt throughout this part of the postseason. They utilized their size, bench and defense against San Francisco Waldorf (18-8).

The Wolverines had a big man in Kabir Karwal, who had the size advantage over Vander Weide but not the skill set.

“We have guys in (the Trans-Valley League) who are big and play big. I’m used to playing against the big guys,” said Vander Weide, who closed out the first quarter with a powerful two-handed dunk.

RC jumped out to the lead by going inside to Vander Weide. Cade Alger chipped in with a basket while Fletcher Jackson and Jadon Van Groningen both added 3s.

At one point, the Knights reeled off 15 unanswered points in the first half to claim a 33-13 lead.

San Francisco Waldorf relied on shooting treys while converting on a three-point play to keep it close early on. But it was apparent that the Wolverines were overmatched.

RC had a 42-20 halftime lead, continuing to building on that lead by starting the third with a 10-3 run.

Alger, who finished with 13 points, leaked out on the fast break and finishing with a slam dunk.

By the end of the third, the Knights held a comfortable 61-39 advantage.

Jacob Vander Hoek chipped with 10 points, six boards, three steals and two blocks.

Jackson had five assists, four rebounds and a block.

“It’s been fun watching Fletcher develop as a point guard,” said RC coach Mark Hofman. “He gets better and better with each game.”

He also praised his team’s moving of the ball.

“They did a good job passing and even making that extra pass,” Hofman added.

More importantly, he was thrilled to get that home win with the strong fan support.

The Knights will get to do it again in the upcoming semifinals.

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