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Ripon Christian cant keep up with Centrals early shooting
Ripon Christian’s Amanda Boersma drives baseline on Central Catholic’s Taylor Hulsebosch during Friday’s 15th Annual Ripon Christian Heritage Classic first-round contest. - photo by HIME ROMEO
First-round results
Oakdale 50, Denair 12
Colfax 40, Hilmar 30
Argonaut 67, Venture 13
Central Catholic 38, Ripon Christian 28

RIPON — The four three-point buckets that Central Catholic drained in the first half — worth the better part of the 20-13 lead the Raiders carried into halftime — proved to be good enough against host Ripon Christian Knights in the opening round of the 15th annual Heritage Classic Friday.

Central Catholic ended up relying on its early lead to hold off a late-game Ripon Christian run in its 38-28 victory to move on to today’s semifinals against the Argonaut Mustangs.

Ripon Christian will attempt to improve and dominate the consolation bracket starting with a 10:30 a.m. game today against Venture Academy.

“We knew that they were shooting well, and we knew that we couldn’t give them an open shot without putting a hand up,” RC head coach Kirk Tillema said. “There were some things that we did well, and we got some good looks, but there are some things that we’re going to have to work on.”

Despite nearly ending the first half without a score, Central Catholic started to find its streak as the first quarter neared a close, holding a seven-point lead over the Knights.

But even with their sharp outside shooting, the Raiders didn’t increase their lead for the next two straight quarters before ending Ripon Christian with a 14-11 fourth quarter to eventually hold a 10-point fourth quarter lead as time expired.
Ripon Christian was able to get within four points before losing its late surge made possible by a strong defensive effort.

In addition to holding down a strong presence in the key, Raeline Witt finished the game with a nine points, while Kelsey Tillema also presented a strong force in the post on the way to netting eight.

“We’ll have to go back and work on some things — we weren’t exactly shooting well from the free-throw line,” Tillema said. “But we had some good things happen, and it’s experience that will help us.”

With the loss, Ripon Christian falls to 4-3 on the season.