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Knights surge past Gustine
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RIPON – After handing archrival Ripon High a double-digit loss in non-conference play Saturday, Ripon Christian head coach Ron Vander Molen was worried about a letdown in the Knights Southern League boys basketball matchup against Gustine Tuesday night.

In the end he worried about nothing.

Even the combination of an aggressive Redskins team and a closely-officiated game couldn’t stop the surging Knights and the senior duo of Logan Vos and Isaac Norman from dealing them a 64-43 defeat to remain undefeated in league play.

“Under the circumstances, we deal with some adversity with the officiating and I think we reacted well to it,” said Ripon Christian head coach Ron Vander Molen. “I tried to talk to these guys before the game about how we have to be even-keeled when we come into every game. I was a little bit worried about how we’d respond after Saturday, but the guys came out and did what they had to do.”

Despite getting off to a slow start, and holding only a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the sure-shooting Knights doubled their early production in the second to hold a 32-18 lead at the half with the momentum squarely in their favor.

The inside game would help Ripon Christian (7-0, 15-5 overall) slowly build its lead and fend off the charge from the Redskins, who shifted its defense to prevent the Knights from getting a solid read for the majority of the evening.

But it was the outside shooting that buried the Redskins (3-4, 7-13) and prevented any chance of a comeback.

In the third quarter, Dan Vos hit a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers to increase Ripon Christian’s lead to 21 points. In the fourth, Norman buried two more that slammed the door on any attempt at a Gustine comeback.

“Isaac really came through for us tonight,” Vander Molen said of his senior guard. “We couldn’t tell if they were running man or zone so we pressed to see what they would let us do and he was a big part of that. His shooting has really come around, and when he hit those two 3-points in the fourth quarter – if the game wasn’t over yet, it was then.”

Logan Vos led Knights in scoring with 19 points. He also pulled down 10 rebounds. Norman finished with 16 points, a pair of steals and a pair of assists, and Dan Vos finished with 11 points and three steals.

Trans Valley League

Ripon 76, Orestimba 45

Despite a slow start, Ripon managed to get its offense firing on all cylinders in a home TVL victory against Orestimba of Newman.

Led by Jake McCreath’s 17 points, the Indians managed to clear their bench by the time the fourth quarter rolled around – something that Ripon head coach Rod Wright has happy to see after a week where his team suffered losses to perennial TVL powerhouse Modesto Christian and intracity rival Ripon Christian.

Ripon (5-1, 12-9 overall) scored 26 points in the third quarter and extended what was a 10-point lead into one that Orestimba would never catch. McCreath scored 11 of his 17 points in the third, and Cole Herrin scored eight of his 10 in the same time frame.

Orestimba dropped to 1-5 in TVL play with the loss.