SALIDA — Fifteen-point losses are usually enough to make a coach cringe.
But after Friday’s 66-51 loss to powerful Sacramento High in the first round of the always-tough Crusader Classic at Modesto Christian, Ripon coach Rod Wright had reason to smile.
That’s because Wright’s undersized and outmatched Indians (4-6) took an 11-10 lead after a quarter of play and was behind just 27-24 by halftime.
The Dragons went on a 25-8 run in the third quarter.
“If you would have told me we’d be up at the end of the first quarter I would have told you that would be unlikely,” Wright said. “We broke their press easily and forced them to get out of it.”
Sacramento’s Travon Abraham caught fire in the second half, blowing up for 15 points in the third and 27 total. San Diego State signee Chase Tapley finished with 22.
Matt Ratto paced Ripon (4-6) with 19 points, most of which came off of five 3-pointers.
Dane Wells finished with 17 points and five rebounds. Efren Sifuentes, back from a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for a few weeks, added six points.
“Overall, we played a very good game, we just played a very good team,” Wright said. “If we continue to play like this (today), we should be competitive.”
Ripon next squares off with Clovis East of the Central Section at 1 p.m.