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BASKETBALL: Ripon Christian repels Riverbank to set up rivalry game with Ripon
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RIPON — Ripon Christian’s boys basketball team can now shift its focus to cross-town rival Ripon.
Led by Cade Alger’s 24 points, the Knights staved off always-dangerous Riverbank 60-54 on Tuesday to set up the anticipated first-place showdown. Ripon Christian (5-0, 13-6 overall) is the top team in the Trans-Valley League while idle Ripon — which hosts the Knights on Friday — trails by a half game.
“Riverbank is so dangerous we have to only talk about Riverbank,” RC coach Mark Hofman said. “It’s tough that we get them and Ripon in the same week.”
Riverbank (3-2, 9-8) is almost always a threat no matter the deficit. The Bruins have traditionally given Ripon Christian fits with their speed on both ends of the court and outside shooting. The Knights were ahead 50-39 after three quarters and by as much as 14 in the fourth before Riverbank caught fire.
“We have completely different styles of play,” Hofman said. “I have total respect for their program. They got a lot of teals in the fourth with their pressure but we were able to withstand their run.”
The 6-foot-8 Alger did all he could to keep Riverbank out of reach. Brock Nunes contributed 13 points, and Will Gilbert had nine. Gilberto Jimenez registered 17 points for the Bruins.
“We run our offense through (Alger) and either he scores or feeds it to someone else who scores,” Hofman said. “He had double-digit rebounds and about four blocks while playing most of the game — he does everything for us.”
Tip-off for Friday’s rivalry game is set for 7:30 p.m. Ripon is the TVL’s reigning champion and has won four straight against Ripon Christian but repelled a late comeback attempt for a dramatic 56-55 win in their last meeting.

Varsity girls
Ripon Christian 51, Riverbank 21

RIVERBANK — Ripon Christian (4-1, 12-6) broke it open with a 15-0 barrage in the third quarter.
Morgan Van Elderen finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Taylor Anema chipped in 11 points, and Lydia Baker had eight. Taking better care of the basketball also helped the Knights build their gaping lead, turning it over just five times in the second half after 13 in the first.

Junior varsity girls
Ripon Christian 56, Riverbank 6

RIVERBANK — Kristen Van Elderen accumulated 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals in the lopsided affair.
Samantha Anema secured 14 boards to go with 12 points. Kendall Pounders added eight points, eight rebounds and three assists.