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BOYS HOOPS: Ripon repels Jimenez, Riverbank
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RIVERBANK — Adam Wood and the Ripon boys basketball team came out firing Tuesday at Riverbank.
Wood made five of his six 3-pointers in the first quarter alone, and the Indians raced out to a not-so-comfortable 18-point halftime lead.
No lead is safe against these Bruins. Ripon survived a scintillating 39-point outburst from Gilberto Jimenez and held on for an 85-78 victory that keeps them one game back of rival Ripon Christian for first place in the Trans-Valley League.
The Indians (7-1 TVL, 13-11 overall) are now on a four-game winning streak since their 54-48 setback against Ripon Christian on Jan. 18. Vincent Olmo helped offset Jimenez’s sharpshooting exhibition, leading Ripon with seven points on 10-of-11 shooting.
“It’s nice to be able to get back on track and kind of forget about that Ripon Christian game,” Ripon coach Justin Graham said. “We know Riverbank played us tough the first game. They are very well coached and never easy to beat, so it was nice to get this win.”
Graham added that the big part of his team’s game plan was to make things difficult for the prolific guard tandem of Robert Cunha and Jimenez. Cunha finished with 19 points but only scored five in the second half. There was no slowing down Jimenez, who torched Ripon for 10 3-pointers.
 “Those two guys went off,” Graham said. “It didn’t seem to sink in the first time, so at halftime we had to repeat that these are the two guys we need to slow down. We just lost track of Jimenez and he seemed open all the time.”
They kept the Bruins (5-4, 11-10) in the game after they trailed 52-34 at halftime. The deficit was cut to nine after three quarters, 63-54, and slimmed to four in the fourth.
Ripon countered with scoring balance, getting their shots inside and out with the 6-foot-8 Olmo doing much of the work in the paint. Troy Brogan, who hit a key 3-pointer in the closing minutes to keep Riverbank at bay, contributed with 18 points. Wood ended with 18 points, all on 3s. Nico Ilardi pitched in 14 points while distributing seven assists.
Ripon made 6 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter to pull away. The Indians play their final two home games of the regular season on Thursday and Friday against Escalon and Hughson, respectively.

Ripon Christian 67, Escalon 46
ESCALON — Ripon Christian (8-0, 16-7) gained separation with an 18-8 burst in the third quarter after leading 33-24 at halftime.
Caleb Terpsma was the spark early on, making five total 3s for most of his 19 points. Cade Alger also scored 19 points, Brock Nunes added 10 and Jacob Van Groningen had eight.
Brenden Holmes tallied 15 points for Escalon (3-5, 9-15).

Oakdale 60, Sierra 38
OAKDALE — The Timberwolves (3-6, 15-8) are mired in a five-game losing streak and in danger of missing the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs as they close the regular season against the top three teams in the Valley Oak League.
Oakdale (1-8, 15-10) won its first league game of the season behind freshman Kobe Nunes’ 32 points. Sierra was paced by David Kakala’s 11 points and Kendrick Currey 10 points, respectively.

Kimball 69, East Union 41
TRACY — The Lancers (3-6, 12-13) could not climb out of a 25-7 hole and was outscored in the third quarter 20-9. Kimball took a commanding 66-30 lead into the fourth.
Parm Khattra registered 13 points for the Lancers, and Asiah Scott contributed 10.

Junior varsity
East Union 46, Kimball 4
TRACY — East Union surged after trailing 22-17 at halftime.
Bryan Howe spearheaded the Lancers with 16 points, and Luke Weaver added 13.