Cole Herrin fired half of his 28 points in the fourth quarter alone, as he led Ripon High to a wild 69-64 win at rival Escalon on opening night of Trans-Valley League play Friday.
The Indians (1-0, 5-9 overall) managed to hang with Escalon (0-1, 9-7) despite an overwhelming disparity in shots attempted from the free-throw line. Luckily for them, Escalon only buried 17 of its 45 foul shots. Ripon finished 7 for 13, with Herrin converting 6 of his 7.
In the third quarter, Ripon was whistled for 14 infractions versus only three for the Cougars, and five Indians had four fouls each by game’s end. None of it mattered.
Ripon, down by as much as seven and playing catch-up for most of the game, ran away with it by outscoring the Cougars 26-17 in the final period.
Friday also marked the first game in a Ripon uniform for Modesto Christian transfer Tim Groen, who chipped in 14 points. The California Interscholastic Federation requires transfers to sit out 30 days if there is no change in residence. Chase DePrue contributed 10 points.
Alex Von Alvensleban poured in 27 points, and Brian Gregorio had 22 for Escalon.
Valley Oak League
Weston Ranch 74, Manteca 41
At Weston Ranch, the Cougars (2-0, 8-5) won their second straight league contest by at least 30 points after leading just 34-28 at halftime.
Felix Buenrostro had the hot hand for Weston Ranch, drilling four 3-pointers on his way to 16 points. Dylan Alexander and Eric Duncan turned in 14 points apiece. Michael Hatfield had 16 points to lead Manteca (1-1, 8-6).
Sonora 64, Lathrop 49
In Sonora, Lathrop (0-2, 4-10) dug itself a 21-7 hole in the first quarter and found a way to cut the deficit to two late in the third, but the Wildcats (1-1, 5-10) finished strong.
Robert Orantes accounted for more than half of Lathrop’s points, finishing with 25.
“We have got to learn to play 32 minutes with consistency,” Lathrop coach Bill Slikker said.
Ripon Christian 68, Le Grand 28
The Knights (1-0, 9-3) rolled out to a 23-3 lead and held Le Grand to single-digit scoring in each of the next three quarters in their conference opener.
Dan Vos handed out 10 assists and had four steals to go with six points. Clayton Blankers and Travis Molen chimed in with 11 apiece, as nine different players contributed with points.