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Ripon Indians claim come-from-behind win
Ripon’s Jake McCreath goes up strong while Escalon’s Tyler Schuurman tries to defend the shot. Ripon won the contest 60-48. For additional photos, please visit - photo by CHRIS LEONARD
ESCALON – When the Ripon Indians trotted into the locker room at halftime with a one-point lead, their matchup with Escalon looked every bit the barnburner most people expected it to be.

But then Ripon made one small change.

They started playing defense.

By coming out and going on a 14-2 run to start the third quarter, the Indians were able to build up enough momentum to deal Escalon a 60-48 defeat and keep their Trans Valley League record unblemished.

“All that we did at halftime was talk about making sure that we swing the ball, play better defense, and limit the number of turnovers,” Ripon head coach Rod Wright said. “We were able to get the ball into the post positions and that was where we excelled at tonight.”

Senior big man Jake McCreath finished the night with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while guard Jared Ratto – who fouled out of the game with just over a minute left – accumulated 11 points during his time on the floor.

But Ripon (2-0, 9-7 overall) relied on a lot more than just two players to make Tuesday’s win a reality.

When it came to running the offense down the stretch, Escalon was forced to send Ripon to the free-throw line where players like Andrew Bonner shot five-for-six in the fourth quarter to extend the lead even further.

And even though point guard Cole Herrin didn’t light up the scoreboard, he finished the game with four assists from the position, and chipped in with three points.

While Escalon (1-1, 11-5 overall) captain Gino Franceshetti did manage to get the Cougars rolling at times – finishing the game with 13 points, a pair of steals and an assist – his charge simply wasn’t enough to beat Ripon’s deep bench that continued to succeed as players filtered on and off the court.

“We have 10 guys that can get in there and play at any time, and that’s a good tool to have as a coach,” Wright said. “The beautiful thing is that they beat Riverbank and everybody thought that this was the team that was going to be able to beat us. It’s always nice when you can put up a win and prove everybody wrong at the same time.”

Ripon Christian 63, Le Grand 51

Logan Vos helped elevate Ripon Christian to yet another win with a 19 point performance Tuesday night against the host Le Grand Bulldogs.

Dan Vos finished the game with 16 points to help improve the Knights’ record to 4-0 in Southern League play.