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Improving Indians torch Downey in second half
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Ripon High’s boys basketball team continued its steady improvement Friday, soundly defeating Division-I Downey 63-43 in Modesto.

The non-league contest is the last for Ripon (8-7), one head coach Rod Wright felt his young Indians had to win for future playoff implications.

How they won, however, is what Wright is most pleased with.

Downey, the more athletic team with superior height, had no answer for sophomore guard Cole Herrin, who recorded a season-high 22 points.

“We have several different offenses that we run, none of them really complex, and we just try and find the ones that work,” Wright said. “Today our pick-and-roll offense with Cole and Jake (McCreath) worked, and our defensive pressure just wore them down.

“We’re getting better every game, that’s the important thing. Our execution in the second half was terrific.”

Andrew Bonner, another sophomore, sparked Ripon’s run that put them ahead for good.

The Indians trailed 23-21 with under a minute to go in the first half, and Bonner drained two straight 3-pointers to give them momentum going into halftime.

Early in the third quarter, Jared Ratto and Herrin hit back-to-back 3’s to bust it open. Herrin netted 13 of his points in the second half, McCreath pitched in with 10 and 12 of Ripon’s 14 players scored.

Southern League
Ripon Ch 80, Waterford 35
In Ripon, the Knights (2-0, 9-5 overall) erupted for 29 second-quarter points to open up a 52-23 halftime cushion.

Logan Vos fired 31 points to lead the way.

Valley Oak League
Sonora 59, Lathrop 42
In Sonora, Lathrop (0-2, 2-10) was within striking distance down 38-30 at the start of the fourth quarter, but then Sonora’s 6-foot-4 star, Alex Kiriluk, got rolling. The returning all-VOL first-team selection dropped in 11 of his 19 points in the fourth.

Ricky Chavez had 12 for the Spartans, and Darius O’Connor and Robert Orentes added eight apiece.

“We got a little tired and made some mistakes down the stretch,” Lathrop coach JJ Ramirez said. “Their size became a factor. They started pounding us inside, and Kiriluk got hot.”