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Logan's Run
Vos led Knights successful return to Southern League
Ripon Christian’s Logan Vos is the Manteca Bulletin’s 2010-11 All-Area boys basketball MVP. - photo by HIME ROMERO
The 2010-11 season was one of change for the Ripon Christian boys basketball team.

A change in personnel: Three key starters graduated, most notably 6-foot-8 center Tyler Goslinga.

A change in schemes: With the big-bodied Goslinga — and his 20 points and 11 rebounds per game — out of the picture, the Knights were able to open things up offensively but had to get creative on defense with the gaping hole in the middle.

A change of scenery: Goodbye Modesto Christian and the Trans Valley League and hello Southern League.

All contributed to the evolution of Logan Vos, the Bulletin’s 2010-11 All-Area Boys Basketball MVP.

Vos was a secondary scoring option as a junior, more of a spot-up shooter when teams collapsed on Goslinga inside.

This year he transitioned from shooter to scorer, creating off the dribble, doing a little more work with his back to the basket and getting out on fastbreaks for easy layups.

The 6-foot-4 forward averaged 18.4 points (up from 13.6 a year ago) and 6.5 rebounds. Few in the area were as proficient, as he nailed 50 percent of his field goals, 37 percent from 3-point range and 74 percent from the free-throw line.

Vos attributes his individual success to the team.

“With this year’s team we had less dry stretches because we were a little more athletic, a lot deeper and we were tougher,” Vos said. “We ran the floor a lot more, and that was fun.

“Even in halfcourt situations we moved around more, and all I did was found some holes in the defense to get open shots. Being smaller this year we had to be a lot less stationary on offense and defense, so in that sense that made us a tougher and more aggressive team.”

Vos was named MVP of the Southern League, helping the Knights (14-0, 26-7 overall) go undefeated in their first season back in the conference since bolting for the TVL in the early 80s and clinch their first championship since 2001.

On Feb. 8, Vos became a Ripon Christian legend.

On that night, RC had a chance to clinch at least a share of the SL championship against then-second-place Denair, a scrappy squad it had already played — and beaten — twice.

Denair led for most of the first half and by as much as 10 late. Vos torched the Coyotes for a career-best 36 points and drained eight of 11 3-pointers in an entertaining 74-73 comeback victory.

Two nights later, RC went on to capture the sole possession of the title with still two games remaining.

Denair did everything it could to slow Vos’ roll. But like any good player Vos could not be stopped even if the Coyotes knew what he was going to do and where he was going to do it.

“It was just one of those nights,” Vos said. “In the beginning I made a couple of mid-range shots, so every time I got to the middle they double teamed me. I noticed that they were on me less the farther I got out, and by the time they figured it out I was in that zone.

“That was exciting for us to be able to clinch league against the team that was right behind us, especially having to come back and finish it at the end. I was really proud of the guys for that.”

Along for the ride was younger brother Dan, who contributed 13 points and six assists. A sophomore point guard, Dan Vos brought a new element to a team that had lacked a gritty playmaker with his ability in recent seasons.

“I’ve been playing with him forever — one-on-one or in open gyms, so it was nothing new to me,” Logan Vos said. “I know what he can do; he’s one of the toughest little point guards around. He’s a real facilitator, and that really helped.”

The Vos brothers both shined against Ripon High in a game that meant little for the rivals. Ripon is still in the TVL, and the contest was played after the Sac-Joaquin Section’s deadline to count it as one that affects playoff power ratings.

Dan scored 21 while Logan chipped in 15 in a mild 62-48 upset victory. Even though it didn’t count for anything, Logan Vos said it was a benchmark win for RC, which needed a challenge at that point because it was blowing out Southern League opponents through the first half of league play.

“We thought it was going to be a really tough game, but I was surprised with how well the team played that night,” Vos said. “It showed the guys on the team what we can do if we play a tough competitor.”

Things obviously got tougher in the postseason for the Knights, who were outgunned in their final two losses of the year. They can take some comfort in knowing that they were defeated by champions.

Sac-Joaquin Section Division-V champion Vacaville Christian ousted RC in the semifinals 71-63, snapping the Knights’ 19-game winning streak.

And in the second round of NorCals, they were drubbed 52-32 by Alameda powerhouse St. Joseph Notre Dame, which claimed the state championship Friday, 47-44 over St. Bernard of Playa del Rey.

“Our goal for the end of the season was to get to the section championships for the second straight year, but overall we didn’t have too many games where, when we look back, we can say that we underperformed,” Vos said. “Our first goal was to do well in preseason, then to take league and do it undefeated.

“For the most part we took care of business. One thing about our team this year is that we never lost to anyone that we should have beaten. We won a few that were toss-ups, and although we could have played better in our losses we just got beat by some great teams.

“We were very successful in that regard.”