RIPON — Never mind Hughson’s record.
As one of the Trans Valley League bottom dwellers, the visiting Huskies gave the first-place Ripon fits through much of three quarters on Tuesday.
“Everytime we play (Hughson) we have the same issues,” said Indians coach Rod Wright following his team’s 55-47 victory.
Ripon (7-0 TVL, 18-4) struggled the last time the two teams faced off earlier in the season.
Wright is hoping that the recent week off had something to do with his team’s lack of focus and sharpness.
Hughson (1-7 TVL, 12-9) came ready to play.
In a game that featured 10 lead changes, the Huskies went on a 14-4 rally midway through the first half. Justin Watkins buried a pair of 3s, scoring eight of his game-high 21 points in that stretch.
The Indians answered back late in the second quarter. Cole Stevens came up with a steal and scored off a pass from Anthony Sisk.
Stevens later found Aaron Paschini, who drained a trey during the 11-3 run.
Ripon led at half, 21-20.
Hughson reclaimed the lead in the third quarter thanks in part to play of Watkins, Josh Duron and Will Fiveash, who controlled the boards. He collected 10 rebounds and a pair of steals.
But it was the Indians’ ball-hawking defense which made the difference.
Especially in the open court.
Kyle Sisk had a steal and quick basket, with Stevens and Paschini following up with a couple of thefts of their own.
Ripon built up a 44-33 lead and held on from there.
Paschini led the Indians with 17 points, four steals and a block. Stevens had 14 points, seven boards and four steals.
Noah Hernandez added 10.
Duron and Cody Cervantes tallied 11 and nine, respectively, for Hughson.
Ripon Christian 77, Escalon 66
ESCALON — Ty Beidleman anchored a balanced attack for Ripon Christian (3-5, 12-9), scoring 18 points to go with 10 rebounds.
Andrew Vander Weide added 16 points, Zach Cortright had 13, Cade Alger 12 and Jadon Vander Molen 10. The Knights were ahead 19-10 after the first quarter and the lead held up from there.
Four Cougars (2-6, 6-17) finished in double figures with Estephan Salcedo leading the way with 18 points.
Hughson 43 OT
Justin Hampton netted 14 and Baz Cheema added 10 for the Indians.
The game was tied 42-42 in regulation.
Ripon 59, Hughson 19
The Indians (7-0 TVL, 19-1) remained perfect in league play with the lopsided victory.
Troy Brogan led the way with 15 points, nine rebounds and five steals.
Julian Sanchez chipped in with seven and Danny Hernandez added six points and five assists.