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BOYS HOOPS: Taylor, Burrows give Ripon edge over rival Ripon Christian
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Ripon High got the better of neighboring rival Ripon Christian on Thursday, 57-55.

Senior guard Malik Taylor led the way with a game-high 23 points while 6-foot-8 junior center Bronson Burrows delivered 13 of his 16 points to pace the visiting Indians in the first to the two Valley Oak League clashes.

"We get to do it again," said Knights coach Mark Hofman. "Now we have to come back and make the adjustments."

Ripon coach Justin Graham is expecting much of the same intensity and momentum changes when his team hosts RC tonight at 7 o'clock.

"I told my assistant Rod (Wright) to get ready for another heart attack," he said. 

Graham added: "These games are never easy."

No surprise that the Indians (3-2 VOL) experienced problems against the Knights' towering front line of Thys Van Der Hoek and Reed Van Der Hoek — both 6-8 — and rugged 6-4 senior Braden Van Groningen, who created plenty of matchup problems inside the paint.

Still, the game unfolded with the lead changing hands nine times coupled with seven ties, including a 55-55 deadlock entering the final minute.

Nolan Young, Brayden Haines and Logan Gillespie made several big plays down the stretch for the Indians. Gillespie's mid-range shot put Ripon ahead, 57-55.

RC (4-3 VOL) worked for that last shot only to see Haines slap the ball out of bounds and Gillespie securing victory by hauling in the missed shot by the Knights while drawing the foul.

Ripon opened the game with Taylor scoring 10 of his team's 13 points — the other was the trey by Austin Bonilla — for the early lead.

The Knights countered with a 10-0 run behind Thys Van Der Hoek, Reed Van Der Hoek and Braden Van Groningen, who led RC with 16 points, seven boards, and two steals.

Lukas Van Groningen and Will Gilbert gave their team a 25-22 lead at the intermission.

The Indians challenged RC's bigs to open the second half, with the momentum switching in their favor.

RC trailed 37-33 but turned the tables late in the third. Lukas Van Groningen and Braden Van Groningen both hit 3s including one at the buzzer by the latter.

In the fourth, Reed Van De Hoek, Lukas Van Groningen and Braden Van Groningen propelled the Knights to a 49-43 advantage.

Taylor then caught fire from the outside. He delivered on a pair of open-court treys along a rim-friendly 3. Burrows followed with a bucket to momentarily give his team a 51-50 lead.

Both teams traded baskets before Ripon finally seized the lead for good.

RC had balanced scoring in the loss. Besides Braden Van Groningen, Lukas Van Groningen chipped in with 14 points and Thys Van Der Hoek netted 12 points and seven rebounds.

For Ripon, Young contributed four points, six rebounds, two steals and a block. Burrows also had six boards and a block.