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Defensive effort buoys Ripon win at Escalon
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ESCALON — Ripon’s girls basketball team is one of two teams still unbeaten in the Trans-Valley League after holding off Escalon on the road 41-36 on Tuesday.

Ripon (2-0 TVL, 9-7 overall) next heads to struggling Hughson on Thursday, but next Tuesday, Jan. 19 is the potential first-place showdown at first-year varsity Mountain House (3-0, 10-3).

“We told the girls we had to come in here with the mindset that they have to win this game,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “It’s always tough to go in there because they play well at home, so if we could get this win they still have to come to our place. They’re a good team with a good record and good, quality wins.”

Savannah Clark and Carla Calderon scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the surging Indians, who have won four of their last five games. Escalon (1-1, 12-4), which has dropped three of its last four, was paced by Shelby McCune’s 15 points and Jenelle Anderson’s 12.

Ripon led 28-18 at halftime but allowed Escalon to creep closer in the third quarter with a 12-7 run. Both teams only managed six points in the fourth.

“We went a little bit cold in the second half and didn’t shoot free throws (3 of 11) very well at all, Contente said, adding that Ripon also struggled from the field. “We pulled it out with defense. It makes up for a lot of stuff we don’t have like height, but the kids work hard all the time defensively and tonight we were able to create a lot of turnovers.”


Ripon Christian 47,

Riverbank 33

RIVERBANK — Ripon Christian (2-1, 7-8) raced away to victory thanks to an 11-4 fourth-quarter run.

Also key was Hailey Van Laar’s defense of Sierra Nabors, the top scorer for the defending TVL champion Bruins (0-3, 3-13). Nabors had 14 points in the third quarter before Van Laar, substituting for a starting guard who was in foul trouble, entered the game to lock her down the rest of the game. Hailey Rodgers added 10 points for Riverbank.

Ripon Christian’s Molley Hoeksema topped all scorers with 16 points. Nicole Graham and Elizabeth Weststeyn and Nicole Graham each chipped in eight points. Bailey Broker, Julia Ray and Jessica Van Vliet grabbed six rebounds apiece.


Sophomore girls

Ripon Christian 22,

Riverbank 4

RIVERBANK — Kristin King and Renae Heida were among seven different Knights players to score, finishing with six points apiece to lead the way.

King also collected seven steals, Heida secured five rebounds and Taylor Alger distributed five assists.