With leading scorer Sean Broker handcuffed by foul trouble, Ripon Christian had trouble getting untracked for three quarters against Los Banos in Thursday’s first-round game in the Oakdale Rotary Classic.
Enter Eric Broker, the team’s undersized but crafty enforcer in the post. He pumped in 11 of his 17 points in the second half and was 7 of 10 from the field to lead the Knights to a 57-45 victory. They rode their 6-foot-2 big in the fourth quarter when RC outscored the 5-4 Tigers 17-9.
“Sean Broker didn’t play much at all,” Ripon Christian coach Ron Vander Molen said. “We didn’t play very well tonight until that fourth quarter, but Eric Broker really came through for us.”
Eric Broker also hauled in a team-high eight rebounds. Jake Schollenberg was also effective inside, contributing 11 points and six boards. Austin Alger did the damage on the perimeter, hitting two 3-pointers and finishing with 10 points. Danny Vander Molen added nine points, six rebounds and four assists.
Ripon Christian encounters Ceres (6-4) in the semifinals tonight at 6:30.
MC Holiday Hoop Classic
Serra 82, Ripon 36
In Salida, Ripon (1-9) ran into a juggernaut to start the Modesto Christian tournament. Led by three Division-I signees, the Cavaliers from Gardena shot out to a 23-2 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
Ron Freeman, a 6-foot-6 guard heading to Cal State Fullerton, paced Serra (7-3) with 21 points, while Cal State Northridge-bound power forward Tavrion Dawson — who stands at 6-8 — followed with 19. Olajuwon Tucker and Ian Carter added 14 apiece. Tucker a 6-4, 220-pounder stalwart, is on his way to USC for football, while Carter is an up-and-coming 6-7 sophomore.
Michael Morris spearheaded Ripon with 18 points and nailed 4 of 9 3-point attempts. The Indians face off with Laguna Creek (6-4) at 11:30 this morning.
Modesto Christian 85, Weston Ranch 41
The rematch of last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal wasn’t close.
Modesto Christian, far better than its 3-5 record, had six players in double figures with 6-6 post Anthony Townes leading the way with 20 points. Mason Washington contributed 17.
Jazz Swanson turned nine points for the Cougars (3-5), who have lost four straight. They have another tough out today at 2:30 when they square off with Burbank (8-1) of Sacramento, which lost to Castro Valley in overtime Thursday.
Manteca 62, Ripon 48
Frankie Lopez fired 12 points to help catapult Manteca (8-1) to a semifinal meeting with rival East Union in the Block M Tournament.
Raymond Gallardo and Anand Hundal each chipped in eight points. Hundal also had eight rebounds. The crosstown semifinal starts at 8:15.