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GIRLS HOOPS: Winton, 1st-place Livingston too much for Ripon Christian
Bulletin girls basketball 2018-19
Ripon Christian’s Morgan Van Elderen goes up for an uncontested basket against Breanna Espinoza (42), Annie Winton (33) and visiting Livingston on Thursday. - photo by GARY JENSEN/

RIPON — The Ripon Christian High girls basketball team needed a big win Thursday over Livingston.
The first-place team in the Trans-Valley League hardly complied.
The visiting Wolves, behind the one-two scoring punch of Annie Winton and Victoria Montes, defeated the Knights, 54-39.
The loss knocked Ripon Christian (6-3 TVL, 15-8 overall) off the pace of the league leaders. Livingston (8-1, 16-8) remains at the top and clings to a half-game lead over Ripon, which split the season series with the Wolves.
"They made for a tough match-up," said Knights coach Ed Mulder, who later inserted both of his two bigs — Lexi Hilvers and Renae Heida — in briefly stem the tide.
That took place midway in the second half after Livingston built up a 20-point advantage.
Rilee Clark's 3-point basket and Morgan Van Elderen's pull-up jumper coupled with baskets in the paint by Hilvers and Heida trimmed the lead to single digit with 3:34 left in the game, 47-39.
But free throws down the stretch by Breanna Espinoza and Montes ended any comeback hopes by RC.
Livingston opened the game with Alizabeth Huerta, Espinoza and Winton each delivering from the free throw line.
Winton, who is the TVL's top scorer, was only warming up.
She had 11 points by the half and netted 16 of her game-high 31 points in the third. Winton also had eight rebounds, six steals and a block.
Montes complemented Winton with her inside presence. She chipped in with 13 points. Heida led the Knights with 17 points to go with her three rebounds and a steal. Van Elderen contributed with 13 points, four boards, two steals and a block.
In the junior varsity game, Livingston broke away from a 20-20 tie at the start of the fourth quarter to win, 31-24. The Knights travel to Hilmar tonight.

Ripon 61, Escalon 41
Host Escalon (4-5, 11-12) kept it close for a half but could not keep pace with Reina Sausedo and the Indians (8-2, 17-7).
Sausedo finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals, while keeping the Cougars in single-digits in each of the final two quarters to expand on it 31-26 halftime lead. Sydney Thomason, Mackenzie Hutchinson and Rachel Sausedo contributed eight points each. Mia Van Lewen and Thomason each grabbed nine rebounds.