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Ripon Christian outlasts Ripon to improve postseason chances
Ripon-Ripon Christian girls basketball
Emma De Bruyn (44) of Ripon Christian sees the driving lane along the baseline as Ripon’s Gabby Delgado closes in. GARY JENSEN/

The Ripon Christian High Knights came up with a big win Tuesday on Senior Night.

They posted just their second win in the Trans-Valley League, but it was to neighboring rival Ripon High, 28-24.

"Our defense was excellent. Our offense was scattered," said RC coach Mike Vander Molen.

Indicative of that occurred in the second half.

The Knights (2-9, 10-13) mustered up a single field goal in the third quarter of a low-scoring affair.

The Indians (4-7, 10-14) broke a 12-12 halftime score by reeling off six unanswered points. Kailee Interbitzin scored off a steal, and Gabby Delgado connected on a pair of free throws and a put-back basket.

Maddy Yonker hit the only shot for RC. Fortunately, it was from 3-point range, trimming the lead, 18-15.

Ripon upped its lead back to five on Vanessah Ponce's two free throws towards the end of the quarter.

The Knights opened the fourth with a 3 by Caitlyn Mouw.

After an exchange of baskets, the Indians maintained their slight advantage on Makenzie Loechler's drive to the hoop.

Down 24-20, RC began the turn around.

Yonker delivered on a 3 and then forced a turnover. She canned another 3 with 51 seconds left and a few ticks on the shot clock, giving RC its first lead in the second half.

The Knights sealed the victory with rebounds from Yonker and Faith Fasani, and one big free throw from Emma Debruyn, the team's lone senior.

"I was happy for Emma. It was a nice way to end the game," Vander Molen said.

More importantly, the win improved RC's chances at an at-large playoff bid. Vander Molen is hoping that the strength-in-schedule wins over Millennium and Big Valley Christian will also factor in.

Meanwhile, Ripon coach Rick Interbitzin said his team will need a win at Livingston for hopes of an at-large post season bid.

Against RC, he described his team's shooting as "ice cold," especially down the stretch.

"We got outhustled. RC wanted it more," added Interbitzin.

Offensively, Delgado led Ripon with eight points. She also had eight rebounds and a steal.

Kailee Interbitzin chipped with six points while Loechler finished with four points, eight boards, one block and a steal.

Yonker led all scorers with 17 points (four 3s) along with six rebounds. Debruyn had seven rebounds and three steals to cap off her Senior Night.