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Manus helps Lady Knights stave off Foresthill comeback
Ripon Christian guard Teagan Manus attacks the basket after blowing past Foresthills Emily Perez. - photo by CHRIS LEONARD / <a href=></a>

RIPON — Teagan Manus helped Ripon Christian High to a second round Sac-Joaquin Section Division V win Thursday over feisty No. 6 Foresthill.

The No. 3 seeded Knights (21-4) survived a scare in their 72-64 victory. They saw their once 20-point second-half lead get slashed down to five midway through the fourth.

Enter Manus, RC’s 5-foot-8 sophomore guard, who was frustrated earlier after drawing her fourth personal foul.

She came up with a big put-back shot and then calmly sank seven of eight free throws down the stretch.

“I was very comfortable at the line,” said Manus, who finished with 17 points including 9-of-10 from the stripe. “I just concentrated.”

The Wildfires (18-8) of the Central Valley California league were led by Sadie Stroup, who had a game-high 25 points. She along with Cherish Miles and Bella Engbretson, who netted 12 of her 16 points in the final period including a 3 from over 20 feet out, sparked Foresthill’s near comeback.

The Knights controlled the tempo through most of the game thanks to their inside play. Mikaela Alger had all 23 of her points from the post. She also had 17 rebounds including nine on the offensive glass.

Cassidy De Rousse also helped out with eight of her 16 boards snagged on the offensive end.

“Cassidy did a nice job, especially blocking out,” RC coach Ed Mulder said.

Alger and De Rousse gave the Knights an early 12-4 advantage.

But the Wildfires, who defeated No. 11 Denair two days earlier, put together a 9-3 run to pull to within two.

Up 18-15 at the top of the second quarter, RC took advantage of turnovers to build an 11-point cushion.

Morgan Alger forced two of those turnovers while Mikaela Alger scored on pair of put-backs including a three-point play.

The Knights had their best run of the game right after the intermission. In that 16-6 ralley, Mikayla Manus, Mikaela Alger, Teagan Manus and Kaylie Colyn, who had a trey, connected from the field.

Leading 53-33, RC appeared comfortably ahead.

“We were executing very well (up to that point),” Mulder said.

Foresthill closed out the third by scoring seven unanswered points.

In the fourth, the Knights connected on back-to-back baskets compliments of the Alger twins. The Wildfires surged back with a pair of 3s by Stroup and a trey from Engbretson.

RC turned to its sophomore guard to close out the game.

“She also showed off some nifty ball handling,” Mulder said of Teagan Manus, who not only dribbled between two defenders trying to catch her in a trap at midcourt but also drew the foul.

While pleased with the win, Mulder noted that his team must do a better job finishing out a game.

RC will face Southern League rival Turlock Christian at Wednesday’s semifinals at Galt High. Both teams split in the regular season and shared the league crown. Turlock Christian downed Central Catholic 61-42 on Thursday.