Bulletin staff reports
RIPON — Things just got more interesting in the Trans-Valley League girls basketball title race.
Ripon Christian pulled off a huge upset Thursday, toppling first-place Mountain House, 49-47.The Knights (3-4, 8-12 overall), who vaulted themselves back into postseason contention, avenged a lopsided 53-29 loss to the Mustangs (6-1, 14-8).
Kelly Engle drained a key 3-pointer to push Ripon Christian ahead 44-41, and the Knights hit free throws down the stretch to secure their big win. Engle finished with a team-high 15 points. Freshman Morgan Van Elderen was the surprise performer of the night, contributing 13 points and 21 rebounds. Renae Heida, a sophomore, chipped in 10 points and 15 rebounds.
“Van Elderen, despite being a freshman, was just outstanding,” Ripon Christian coach Ed Mulder said. “She just took the game over.”
It was a back-and-forth battle throughout. Mountain House ended the first half on a 6-0 run and it was tied at 39-all at halftime. The Mustangs’ surge carried over into the third quarter when they took a nine-point lead at one point.
Mustangs freshman Lyric Moore led all scorers with 21 points, while Andrea Garcia added 13.
Oakdale 36, East Union 33
Down by as much as 16 in the second half at Dalben Center, the Lancers (4-4, 14-6) rallied at the end and had a chance to send it into overtime before coming up on the short end of a Valley Oak League upset.
Ruby Daube (13 points) buried two free throws after an Oakdale player was ejected, then closed East Union by three with a 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds left. The Lancers were then able to force a turnover on the inbounds play, only to give it right back on their final possession.
Donja Payne (11 rebounds, three blocks) and Hailey Gosney contributed eight points apiece for East Union, which made just 23 percent of its field goals. Oakdale (2-6, 12-9) made the most of its possessions, shooting at a 75-percent clip. Grace Higle led the Mustangs with eight points.
Kimball 57, Sierra 38
Sierra (0-8, 2-18) competed well for three quarters, but the visiting Jaguars (6-2, 15-6) were able to gain separation with a 22-6 explosion in the third.
“We had high intensity the whole game and really did a great job of crashing the boards and playing like a team,” Sierra coach Martha Spivey said.
Alison Edwards paced the Timberwolves with 13 points, while Pearl Bautista scored 16 for Kimball.
East Union 58, Oakdale 47
The Lancers (8-0, 21-0) built a 16-8 first-quarter lead and didn’t look back.
Nina Murphy poured in a game-high 16 points. Julia Vezaldenos chimed in with 13 points, six rebounds and five steals. Leilani Menor added 12 points and five rebounds. Sarah Gloeckler registered four points, three steals, four assists and seven boards.
Ripon Christian 44,
Mountain House 23
RIPON — Ariel Vander Woude powered Ripon Christian with 21 points and 20 rebounds. Rylee Beidleman finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Weston Ranch 31,
LATHROP — Darnaysha Huff ended up four blocks shy of a triple-double, collecting 12 points and 10 rebounds in the process for the first-place Cougars (6-0, 12-5).
Jennalyn Laminero helped with nine points and four steals. Julianna Lassiter dished out six assists to go with three steals.