GALT — The Ripon Christian Knights had their hopes of reaching the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V finals derailed by Central Catholic on Wednesday.
“They played good second-half defense,” RC coach Ron Vander Molen said following the 58-49 loss. “They made it tough on our shooters.”
The Knights (23-6) will find out who they’ll face in next week’s Nor-Cal state playoff tournament on Sunday.
The Raiders (24-5), meanwhile, earned a ticket to Friday’s section finals at Power Balance Arena in Sacramento.
RC led throughout the first half thanks to steady shooting from the field from Josh Van Groningen and Dan Vos. Jared Goslinga — who battled underneath with the likes of 6-foot-9 junior John Fenton, 6-6 Johnathan Boddie and 6-5 Jake Bland — pulled in seven rebounds.
Fenton had nine points but was a constant shot-blocking threat in the post. His presence also altered the Knights’ shooting from the field.
Van Groningen’s 3 early in the third quarter was the only RC field goal during a cold second-half shooting stretch. The Knights earned most of their points from the free throw line. Jared Goslinga was 5 of 6 from the line in the period while finishing with 12 points.
Van Gronigen had a game-high 20, and Vos dropped in 11.
Down 33-30, the Raiders closed out the third with scoring eight unanswered points. Donovin Townsend hit a trey and Kyler Wilson scored on a fast-break basket.
Central Catholic, behind the play of Bland, Fenton, and Anthony Loya, built up a 45-35 lead and won going away.