After an abysmal start Friday night, Ripon Christian battled back to take its first lead early in the fourth quarter, and buoyed by Will Gilbert’s huge 3-pointer scored the game’s last 13 points in a 58-47 boys Valley Oak League basketball win over host Ripon High.
“That was huge,” Knights coach Mark Vos said of Gilbert’s 3-pointer. “We had got on him about not taking great shots and that one right there was a great shot at a huge time.
“Getting down early is something that seems to happen every time we play here. We get down early, we rally back. It is a great rivalry and every game seems like it could go either way.”
Ripon got the better of Ripon Christian on Thursday, 57-55.
With 1:12 left in the rematch, Ripon Christian (6-4 VOL) leading 49-47 and having managed only a point in the prior 90 seconds, Gilbert (13 points) followed a screen by Reed Van Der Hoek (eight rebounds, six points), took the inbounds pass from Lucas Van Groningen (10 points, four rebounds, four assists) and nailed a 3-pointer that took what little wind was left right out of the Indians’ sails.
“Coach wasn’t happy with a couple of other 3s I had put up and he said he was going to come to me,” Gilbert said. “It was a good pass from Lucas (Van Groningen) and Reed (Van Der Hoek) set me a pretty good screen which made it a pretty easy shot.
“I tried to play defense hard the whole game and think I tried to make it hard for them to run their offense.”
Ripon (3-3) jumped out to a 13-3 first quarter lead and led 19-10 going into the second period.
Enter Thys Van Der Hoek.
The 6-foot-8 sophomore score 10 of his 14 points in the second quarter to help Ripon Christian narrow the game to 31-27 at halftime. Thys Van Der Hoek tallied a double-double with 15 rebounds along with four blocks.
“I play with my brother (senior Reed Van Der Hoek, also 6-8) in practice and you get a lot of experience when you play with people your own size,” Thys Van Der Hoek said. “It’s just another day out there.
“When we play Ripon the stakes are high. We always want to be the best so when I come out here I always feel I have to give 110 percent before I go sit down.”
In the final 41 seconds of the game Van Groningen had a huge rebound and was 4 for 4 from the free-throw line. Teammate Braden Van Groningen had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds along with five steals, two assists and a block.
According to Indians coach Justin Graham, the height of Ripon Christian was tough for Ripon to handle.
“RC is a good basketball team,” Graham said. “They are big and it is really tough to play against them. And I think we had some bad coaching on our side. I really feel I let our guys down in the fourth quarter. We couldn’t manufacture any points and I couldn’t come up with anything to help us solve that.”
The Knights won the battle of the boards 44-19 and dominated the fourth quarter on the glass 15-5.
“And lastly, we couldn’t get a rebound,” Graham said. “In the fourth quarter there were several possessions where they got offensive rebounds that led directly to points or free throws. With a team of that size you have to keep them off the glass.”
Ripon’s Bronson Burrow logged a double-double and led all scorers with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Teammates Brayden Haynes and Logan Gillespie (four rebounds) chipped in nine points apiece.
Ripon Christian 62, Ripon 34
Luke Crivello led the Knights with 11 points and Cade Kiser tallied 10 points for Ripon.