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Ripon Christian, Ripon clamp down in league openers
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The most challenging part to the Southern League opener for Ripon Christian was likely making the long trek to Mariposa. Once the Knights showed up it was all business, cruising to an easy 55-33 win in both teams’ league openers.

Ripon Christian (1-0 SL, 9-4 overall) jumped out to a 34-17 halftime lead and never looked back. The Knights came into the contest focused on Mariposa’s leading returning scorer Ian Merzwinski, and got a quality effort from James Vander Schaaf bottling him up and holding him to just four points.

“Our defense was really good tonight,” Ripon Christian head coach Ron VanderMolen said. “We played tough man-to-man defense and James Vander Schaff came off the bench and did a good job for us on the defensive end.”

Jared Goslinga led the Knights with 19, while Jon Vander Molen and Dan Vos chipped in with 14 and 10, respectively. Vander Molen connected on four 3-pointers, including three from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Knights will be back on the court Friday when they receive a visit from Waterford High.

Trans-Valley League

Ripon 55, Hilmar 37

The Indians raced out to a convincing 19-4 run from the onset, establishing control and cruising to the easy victory in the Trans-Valley League season opener.

Jake McCreath led the way with a 23 point evening, leading the club with 12 first half points in helping Ripon build the double-digit lead.

“They were a short club and Jake pretty much had his way out there,” Ripon head coach Rod Wright said. “He really was able to dominate.”

Cole Herrin chipped in 10 in the win.

Ripon (1-0 TVL, 6-7 overall) will be back on the court Friday when they receive a visit from Downey High for a nonleague contest.