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Crusaders explode in third; clinch outright
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LATHROP — Ripon High’s boys basketball team did well to make it a game for a half, but Modesto Christian had too much in its arsenal for the Indians to keep up for the long haul.

Modesto Christian clinched its fourth straight outright championship in the Trans Valley League with an 89-47 blowout victory.

Ripon (5-3, 13-12 overall) trailed 32-27 at halftime but held a one-point lead late in the second quarter. Modesto Christian (8-0, 16-8) responded with a 28-6 explosion in the third quarter to put the game away.

Ten of 13 Crusaders contributed with points, with Adam Wampler scoring 15 of his 20 in the first half.

Ryan Riner keyed MC’s big third-quarter push with three 3’s and poured in 15 of his points in the second half.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Ripon coach Rod Wright said. “We played hard and with a lot of intensity, and it was very physical game. But MC is playing well right now, and they just run 10 players at you until you wear down.”

Matt Ratto led Ripon with 20 points and was 10 for 12 from the free-throw line. The rest of the team wasn’t as sharp from the stripe, going 7 for 21.

Ratto’s presence made a difference in the first half this time around. In Ripon’s first match with Modesto Christian on Jan. 26, Ratto was benched after he was charged with a technical foul late in the first quarter. The Indians went on to lose, 76-31.

Kody Wengel, Ripon’s second leading scorer this season, fouled out of the game early in the third quarter with zero points.

The loss puts a little pressure on Ripon in the final week of the regular season. The Indians started the week at No. 12 in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division IV playoff power ratings but will likely fall.

They finish up the season at home against intracity rival Ripon Christian, which the Indians lost to 52-47 in their first meeting, and Escalon on the road. Escalon is sitting on the 16th and last qualifying playoff seed.

Ripon Christian 66, Hughson 55
HUGHSON — Ripon Christian (5-3, 18-5), ranked fourth in the D-V power ratings, handled business Friday and was led by 6-foot-8 center Tyler Goslinga’s 29 points.

Logan Vos contributed 13 points, Daniel Van de Pol had 12 and Steve Vander Molen nine.

— Jonamar Jacinto