HUGHSON — Reina Sausedo poured in 23 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals, leading the Ripon girls’ basketball team to a crucial Trans-Valley League 63-53 road victory over contending Hughson on Tuesday.
It was nip and tuck throughout after the Indians (5-0, 14-6 overall) exploded for 22 points in the opening quarter but held a fragile 29-28 halftime lead. They put it away with free throws, making 14 of 16 in the final period and 20 of 30 overall.
Ripon was also able to limit its mistakes, committing just 11 turnovers.
“It was a huge win over Hughson at their place,” Ripon coach Rick Inderbitzin said. “It’s always tough to play there and with first place on the line I knew it was going to be a dog fight.
I thought our girls responded in critical times and they made good decisions at the end of the ball game to put it away.”
Mikaylah Vaught ignited the Indians’ early barrage, knocking down three 3-pointers. She ended with 15 points. Kiley Holland contributed eight points, and Makenzie Loechler pulled down seven boards.
Madi Coelho collected 17 points to lead the Huskies (3-2, 13-6), while Giana Martella added 10.
“I thought Hughson played real well and they were ready to get after it,” Inderbitzin said. “They were predicted at start of league to be at the top and they did not disappoint. They are tough but I thought we played great.”
Ripon concludes the first half of league play Friday against visiting Ripon Christian.
Los Banos 44, Lathrop 37
LOS BANOS — With a chance to for a three-way tie atop the Western Athletic Conference standings, Lathrop (5-2, 8-11) turned it over on back-to-back possessions down the stretch and was forced to foul to try and stay in it.
The Tigers (7-0, 12-8) capitalized on their free throws to pull away for the big win after building a 27-15 halftime lead.
“I was happy we battled back to within one point in the fourth, but we had too many lost possessions and couldn’t get over the hump,” Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis said. “We played a heck of a game, though, we’re looking forward to seeing them again.
Los Banos’ Anissa Sanchez paced all scorers with 20 points. Kierstin Contantino registered 18 for the Spartans, and Jasmine Denning had 10.
Central Catholic 48, Sierra 47
MODESTO — The Timberwolves’ postseason hopes took a hit with the Valley Oak League defeat.
Central Catholic (1-5, 6-8) overcame an eight-point halftime deficit and converted a layup to jump ahead for good with 30 seconds remaining.
Sierra (2-5, 12-9) was led by Inessa Villanueva and Mikayla Guarascio, who scored 10 points apiece.
Ripon 73, Hughson 38
The Indians (4-1 TVL, 10-11 overall) continue to round into form as they approach their midseason rivalry showdown with Ripon Christian.
They dominated Hughson (0-5, 4-16) from the start and had all 14 of their players get ample time on the court in their fourth consecutive win.
Brayden Haines led the way with 11 points and drained three 3s. Julian Sanchez also made three 3s for his nine points. Sophomore transfer Bronson Burrow, making his third appearance for Ripon, contributed nine points as well.
“It was really a complete team effort tonight,” Ripon coach Justin Graham said. “I’d be surprised if somebody played more than half the minutes. Everybody took advantage and played hard. I’m really proud of the effort they showed.”
Ripon ends the first half of its league schedule Saturday at Ripon Christian. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.
Junior varsity boys
Ripon 69, Hughson 43
The Indians held the Huskies to single digits in the first and fourth quarters.
Anthony Sausedo led Ripon with 13 points and six rebounds. Landen West added 11 points and seven rebounds and Nolan Young chipped in nine points.
Los Banos 28, Lathrop 23
Lathrop led 16-10 at halftime but was outscored 11-2 in the third period.
Kalani Soriano and Taimane Lowery scored eight and six points, respectively.