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Ripon freshman cards one-over round, but Knights prevail
Ben DeRuiter tees off on Hole 6 while Ripon Christian teammate Tim Hoeksema tracks his shot at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club Thursday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
RIPON – After a Wednesday practice round where everybody was right where they were supposed to be, the Ripon High golf team was confident about Thursday’s Trans Valley League matchup against intracity rival Ripon Christian.

Maybe a little bit too confident.

While freshman Andrew Bonner posted the day’s lowest score with a one-over par 37 at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club, his teammates couldn’t pick up the slack in a match that had major implications postseason and title hopes.

Ripon dropped its first match of the year, 223-232. The Indians fell to 2-1 in league play, 4-1 overall. Ripon Christian moved into a second-place tie with a 2-1 record.

“At practice yesterday we shot a 210, and I think that our guys were a little bit overconfident about where they were,” Ripon head coach Chris Musseman said. “Every once in a while our kids have a bad day, and today we had three or four of players post them all at once.

“I have to give credit to Ripon Christian, who came out today that put together a better round than we were able to. It’s just tough to let one get away in a league where you can’t afford to have a loss.”

Ross Van Groningen and Tim Hoeksma tied for the team low for the Knights with a 41, while Logan Vos was close behind with his 43. The 45 by Christian Manes and the 53 by Riley Pizl rounded out the day for Ripon Christian.

After Bonnner’s 37 and Josh Richter’s 42, the closest Ripon player was Zach Capel with a 49. Matty Gay recorded a 50, and Nick Mendonca brought in the fifth score with a 54.

“I think that the best thing our kids can do is just put today behind them, get a little bit more serious at practice, and realize that they aren’t going to win by just showing up,” Musseman said. “Andrew and Justin are really great golfers, but we need five scores to record a round and that really hurt us today.”

Valley Oak League
Sierra 221, W. Ranch 271
Every Sierra golfer posted a score in the 40s Thursday afternoon at Manteca Park Golf Course to easily hand Weston Ranch a loss before heading into a long and much-needed break.

“We did well today, but we’re just tired and need a little bit of rest,” Sierra head coach Jeff Williams said. “We don’t have another match until two weeks from today, so we’ll recover and get reloaded and get ready for the second half of the league season.

The victory leaves Sierra with a 7-2 VOL record at the midway mark.

Paul Michaleto led Sierra with a 42, while Miguel Dominguez and Drew Allen both posted a 44 on the day. Chase Hunter’s 45 and Ryan Leasure’s 46 rounded out Sierra’s top five scores.

For Weston Ranch, Ryan Ortiz recorded the team low with a 43, followed by James Aragon at 50, Tim Weatherwax at 54, Joseph Renaud at 59, and Thomas Medeiros at 65.

Sonora 220, East Union 222
SONORA — The Lancers could not get any closer without leaving with a win, returning from Mountain Springs Golf Course with a two-stroke defeat.

Evan Lewis shot East Union’s low round, turning in a 43, while teammates Kyle Harman and Tanner Bragg shot 44 and 46, respectively. Jordan Duval tallied a 45 and Will Brink shot a 44. Guillermo Bajaras was the throw-out with a 47.

“I couldn’t have been more happy with Evan Lewis,” East Union head coach Dennis Wells said. “He shot a great round today. But when our one and two guys don’t shoot what they are capable of shooting it just makes it tough.”

The Lancers will try and work out their kinks at Elkhorn Country Club in Stockton in a tournament Monday.

—Jason Campbell