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Knights stumble in D5 semifinal
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SACRAMENTO — Capital Christian caught fire early, and No. 6 Ripon Christian couldn’t make up ground in a 59-35 loss in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V semifinals on Tuesday.
Cierra McClain and Michaela Mahnke drained two 3-points each to help the Cougars (21-8) stake a 22-6 lead in the first quarter. Ripon Christian (14-15) battled valiantly over the final three quarters.
“The slow start hurt us and we just kind of chased that the rest of the night,” Ripon Christian coach Ed Mulder said.
McClain led Capital Christian with 13 points, six assists and six steals. Elena Hall and Mahnke pitched in with 10 points apiece. Ripon Christian’s Kelly Engel paced all scorers with 16 points.
The Cougars will face top-seeded Argonaut for the section championship Saturday at the University of the Pacific. Tipoff is set for 10 a.m.
“They’re a very good team and they were quicker than us,” Mulder said. “We had trouble handling the pressure. It was a good experience for our very young team. We learned a lot from it.”
The season is not over yet for Ripon Christian, which has seven underclassmen on its postseason roster. All section semifinalists qualify for CIF State Northern California Regional Championships beginning next Wednesday, March 8. Brackets will be released on Sunday.