RIPON — Led by Jacob Vander Hoek and Andrew Vander Weide along with a whopping 24 assists divvied up between eight players, No. 2 Ripon Christian shellacked visiting No. 3 Faith Christian 86-46 Friday in semifinal action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoffs
“We talked about moving the ball quicker with not so much dribbling,” Knights coach Mark Hoffman said. “That will get you open shots.
“Vander Weide and Vander Hoek worked so well together tonight with the passing. The post-to-post passing has been very good for us.”
Vander Weide and Vander Hoek took turns leading Ripon Christian (18-9) out to a 42-18 halftime lead. Vander Weide scored 10 of his team’s 14 points in the opening period and went scoreless in the second quarter. He instead dished off three of his seven assists to Vander Hoek, who poured in 14 second-period points.
“I knew they were going to start playing defense on me,” Vander Weide said. “They were like going to double and triple me and all that stuff. I figured if I got the ball down low they were going to turn toward me so I would just dish it to Vander Hoek.”
Vander Hoek led the Knights with 24 points and 10 rebounds along with two steals and a block.
“Vander Weide and I are very tall out there,” Vander Hoek said. “So, we give lots of lobs to each other.
“It feels great to be playing for the section title.”
Jadon Vander Molen chipped in 13 points and dished out four assists for Ripon Christian. Jackson Fletcher added nine points.
“We focus on always making the extra pass at practice,” Vander Molen said. “And that is what we did a lot of tonight.
“Getting that extra bucket for the other guy is what coach always focuses on.”
The Knights defense was tenacious, forcing the Lions (20-8) to miss seven of their nine first-quarter 3-point attempts.
Braden Van Groningen added five assists for Ripon Christian and Dominic Darretta had four.
Faith Christian’s Zach Rodriguez led all scorers with 28 points.
The Knights advance to the finals Friday at University of the Pacific at noon against either top-seeded Sacramento Adventist or No. 4 Sacramento Waldorf. The Ripon Christian girls precede the boys in playing for the title at 10 a.m. against Forest Lake Christian of Auburn.