RIPON — Ripon’s girls basketball team did almost everything right in its Trans-Valley League opener with Escalon Thursday.
Executing was hardly an issue. Getting the ball to drop through the hoop was. What goes down as a poor shooting night wasn’t as bad as it would appear for the Indians, who otherwise had things under control en route to a 39-28.
Whether it was Ruth Waters knifing her way through Escalon’s defense for point-blank layups or Sidtia Sidtikun pulling up for open mid-range jumpers, the Indians’ top two scorers were getting some unfriendly bounces off their home rims.
“You just keep shooting and don’t let it get to you,” said Waters, whose six points was less than half her season average of 12.5 coming in. “If you can’t find your shot you just keep attacking and try and get to the line or find other ways to contribute.”
Ripon (1-0, 10-3 overall) relied on its defense to get quick buckets and widen leads early in the second and fourth quarters, and forward Kelsey Alexander did all of the damage in the third when she accounted for all eight of her team’s points. She ended up with 14 points and seven rebounds, both game-highs.
The Indians started the second on a 10-2 run, and a back-breaking 7-0 spurt — highlighted by Waters’ three-point play — early in the fourth gave them their largest lead at 35-22. Morgan Carrico, who contributed eight points, came up with a steal with 35 seconds left to put Escalon (0-1, 6-9) away for good.
“We were rotating defenses and added some wrinkles,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “The kids did what they were supposed to do on offense and defense which was good to see. They executed very well, we just couldn’t finish. Those shots will fall for us in the future, so I’m not too worried about it. I thought they did fine, and it was nice to get the first league win out of the way.”
Ripon heads to East Union Saturday for their 3rd Annual Hoops for the Cure Classic before its next league contest at Hughson on Jan. 10.
Ripon Christian 57,Le Grand 20
The reigning co-champion Knights (1-0, 7-4) carried a comfortable 22-2 advantage into the second quarter and rode the hot hand of Jenny Wickham at Le Grand. Wickham led all scorers with 22 points and was 5 for 6 on 3-pointers.
Kirstin Bowman and Teagan Manus added eight points apiece, and Carly Tillema pulled down 10 rebounds.
Ripon Christian 52,Le Grand 14
Nine players scored in a balanced effort for the two-time defending SL champions.
Ripon Christian (1-0, 6-8) was paced by Elisabeth Regusci’s 12 points, four assists and four steals. Nicole Graham swiped 10 steals to go with seven points.
Ripon 46, Escalon 36
Jourdan Richter poured in 15 points, and Melanie Ulrich added 13 as the Indians rolled to their first TVL victory of the season.