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Knights drub SLs five-time reigning champ
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RIPON – The Knights made a splash in their return to the Southern League Tuesday, defeating Mariposa, 62-40.

But early on, the Ripon Christian boys varsity basketball squad had trouble against the five-time defending league champion Grizzlies, falling behind, 10-0.

“The big thing is that we didn’t panic,” said Knights coach Ron Vander Molen, who was aware that his team had a tall order in trying to contain 6-foot-7 senior Drake Long, who came in averaging over 17 points per game.

Jared Goslinga came off the bench, neutralizing the Grizzlies’ big men. RC also got its offense untracked, making a 19-5 run to close out the opening quarter.

“Once we switched (from man) to zone (defense), we were able to play our game,” said Vander Molen.

Long got into foul trouble early in the second half and finished with 10 points.

The Knights (1-0, 8-5) went on a roll, with Logan Vos finding his range – Mariposa employed a box-and-one defense in attempt to cool down RC’s 6-foot-4 senior forward – and younger brother, Dan Vos, taking control at the point. They built up their lead, going from 32-23 at the half and making it 49-35 after three quarters.

“Danny settled in and got us going,” said the Knights coach.

Dan Vos had a game-high 15 points while Logan Vos netted 14. Ian Merzwinski paced Mariposa (0-1, 7-7) with 14 points.

“Mariposa was a good test for us to open league,” said Vander Molen.

His team will host Waterford at Friday’s homecoming game.