By JONAMAR JACINTO
So long, Southern League.
Ripon Christian’s girls basketball team bade farewell on Tuesday with its 61-35 win at Gustine. The school’s boys and girls basketball programs will return to the more competitive Trans-Valley League next year after a successful four-year run in the SL.
The Lady Knights (14-0, 21-3 overall) were absolutely dominant in their final season in the SL, and their victory over the second-place Gustine (11-3, 14-6) illustrates that. They roll into the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs riding an 18-game winning streak.
“Now we get to see how good we really are,” Ripon Christian coach Ed Mulder said. The Knights are likely to receive a top-four seed in the Division V tournament. They’ll know for sure today at around 5 when the SJS releases the brackets.
Teagan Manus is in the running for a second straight MVP nod. The senior point guard again made her case Tuesday night with 19 points and seven assists. Adri Van Groningen chimed in with 16 points, Amber Hilvers had nine and Carly Tillema pulled down 15 rebounds.
Sophomore Sujey Luna poured in 17 to pace Gustine.
Ripon 46, Orestimba 29
Three seniors led Ripon (5-7, 9-16 overall) in their Trans-Valley League finale.
Kelsey Alexander topped all scorers with 15 points, Melanie Wilkerson had 11 and Morgan Carrico ended up with eight. The Indians were well ahead 14-1 after the first quarter and cruised from there.
Ripon Christian 65,
Danny Vander Molen drained all six of his 3-point attempts and scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half. Sean Broker added 17 points.
Ripon Christian (12-2, 21-5) blasted out the gates with a 26-3 run and limited Gustine (2-12, 2-22) to single-digit scoring in every quarter.
Ripon 68, Orestimba 37
It was a night for the seniors at Ripon (6-6, 8-19), which was anchored by Michael Morris’ 15 points. Chase DePrue poured in 10 of his own, while Bradley Clark, Brock Herrin and freshman Cole Stevens dropped in eight apiece.
The Indians dominated defensively, building a 15-4 first-quarter lead.
Ripon Christian 53,
Ten different Knights scored as they completed another perfect run through the SL.
Cynthia Van Vliet led the balanced scoring with 10 points. Bailey Broker and Hailey Van Laar chipped in eight apiece. Ripon Christian finishes 22-7 overall.