The battle for second place in the Southern League and Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths rages on.
Meanwhile, Ripon Christian’s boys basketball team coasted to its third consecutive outright conference championship with Monday’s 75-45 throttling of Turlock Christian at Calvary Baptist Church.
The Knights (11-0, 19-4 overall) have three games remaining against teams — Delhi, Gustine, Mariposa — they beat by an average of 38.7 points during the first half of SL play.
Jon Vander Molen sparked RC early, scoring 12 of his 22 points in the first quarter as the Knights staked a 20-10 lead. After leading 39-26 at halftime, they broke away with a 19-7 third-quarter run.
Clayton Blankers added 11 points, and point guard Danny Vos contributed eight points and 15 assists. Seth Retemeyer posted 12 points for Turlock Christian (7-4, 12-2).
Valley Oak League girls
Lathrop 40, Oakdale 33
The Spartans (4-7, 9-14) avoided an upset defeat as Oakdale (0-9, 3-18) nearly derailed their chances of making the program’s first postseason appearance.
“The game was a lot closer than it really needed to be, but Oakdale played us tough — I give them credit,” Lathrop coach Ed Fang said. “We came out flat, and luckily we didn’t blow the game.”
Akilah Lesley paced Lathrop with 13 points, while Loreal Taylor chipped in nine points and 13 rebounds off the bench. Lathrop has a tough closing stretch to the regular season, starting with Sonora on the road tonight and Kimball away on Thursday.