RIPON — The Hughson defense was overpowering on Thursday night, forcing 24 Ripon turnovers through three quarters and holding off a late Indians surge as the visiting Huskies came away with a 48-38 Trans-Valley League girls basketball victory.
“We are definitely a defense-first team,” Hughson coach Tim May said. “We have been that way every year and my goal is to be the No. 1 defense in the league. That is kind of what our whole heart and soul is built on. We let our defense turn into our offense. They did a nice job slowing us down tonight and that usually gives us fits, but my girls showed up and they wanted to shoot.”
“We are both young teams — I do not start any seniors with three sophomores. We are excited for what the future holds. Hopefully we get to keep playing.”
Ripon (3-1 TVL, 11-7 overall) took its only lead of the night to start the second quarter on a put back by Makenzie Loechler (eight points). Hughson then went on a 13-0 run behind a pair of 3-pointers by Makayla Loewen (13 points, nine rebounds) and never trailed again.
After falling behind by 11 points in the third period, the Indians battled back to within 37-32 in the fourth quarter with a 7-2 run sparked by Kaylee Hutchinson’s steal and coast-to-coast transition layup. Gracie Quillen tallied two quick put backs for the Huskies to push the lead back to nine and the Indians could not recover.
“I thought we came out kind of sluggish,” Ripon coach Rick Inderbitzin said. “And it continued through three quarters until we had some spurts and we played hard. But mentally we were just not prepared tonight and the focus was not there. We turned the ball over quite a few times and when you do that against a good team like Hughson you are not going to win.”
Hutchinson was relentless for the Indians, making 11 steals, nine points, three assists and three rebounds.
“Kaylee is one of our key players,” Inderbitzin said. “She wreaks havoc with other teams by hard-nosed play and her athletic ability. She anticipates really well and she has led our team in steals all year. If we don’t have her on the floor we are in trouble.”
The Huskies (3-0, 11-7) hit five from beyond the arc.
“Our outside shooting has been struggling and we have been working on it and working on it,” May said. “We are motivated to play Ripon, we are always motivated to play Ripon, they are kind of our rival. (Ripon coach) Rick (Inderbitzin) and I have been going at it for about four or five years.”
Hughson’s Madi Duron led all scorers with 15 points along with six steals.
Ripon’s Sierra Hollis (four points) pulled down nine rebounds.
Ripon 33, Hughson 16
Kailee Inderbitzin led a balanced Indians attack with eight points.
Ripon’s Cami Hutson and Vanessah Ponce added six points each.
Ripon 48, Hughson 10
The Indians held the Huskies scoreless in two quarters.
Leila Sanchez led Ripon with 15 points followed closely by Ava Vander Werff with 14.