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Knights hang tough in D5 semifinal loss to top-seeded Capital
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SACRAMENTO — Ripon Christian once again gave highly-favored Capital Christian a run for its money.

The No. 5 Knights battled the top-seeded Cougars for three quarters in Thursday’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division V semifinal but was eliminated from contention with a 48-38 loss. Capital Christian (21-7) outscored the visitors 16-7 in the final period.

Last year, Ripon Christian made a surmising run to the championship round, where it dropped a competitive 52-44 decision.

“They hit a bit of a hot streak and we kind of ran out of gas,” Ripon Christian coach Ed Mulder said of the rematch. “We didn’t transition back in the second half. 

“Their pressure finally got to us. We had been doing a really good job all game but we didn’t have anything left at the end.”

One of the reasons the Knights (15-12) came up short was that Molly Hoeksema was forced to leave the game due to injury. She finished with seven points. Nicole Graham and Bailey Broker each led the way with 12 points. Broker also had 12 rebounds. 

 The good news for Ripon Christian is that its season is not over yet. The semifinal berth guarantees it a spot in the CIF State Northern California Regionals, which begins on Wednesday, March 9.