Inconsistency on offense has plagued Ripon all season, and the 14th-seeded Indians battled through the shooting yips once again in their Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV opener at No. 3 West Campus.
Ripon scored just two points in each of the second and fourth quarters and lost, 68-26. It averaged just 41.8 points per game, and Tuesday’s output is the team’s second lowest of the season.
“That’s a very good team, but we had chances at the beginning of the game,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “We missed some easy shots that put us in a hole when we should have had the lead going into the second quarter. From that point on West Campus took over. They didn’t miss much in the first half.”
Ripon (15-13) shot just 31 percent from the field, was 0 of 7 on free throws and committed 29 turnovers. West Campus (19-6) was anchored by a pair of young guards. Sophomore point guard Namiko Adams poured in a game-high 16 points, freshman Kiara Jefferson chipped in 12 and senior forward Veronica Mendoza scored 15.
“Their two guards did a nice job of controlling the game and their post player stepped up and had some nice put-backs,” Contente said. “We just couldn’t overcome that.”
Senior starters Zaire Davis (six points), Karissa Carlson (six points, nine rebounds) and Jourdy Richter (five points) played their final game for Ripon. With only four seniors leaving, the other being Melanie Ulrich, Contente said his otherwise young squad gained valuable experience while playing a tough schedule this season. He’s been especially impressed with the play of junior guard Hailey Monroe, who paced Ripon with seven points Tuesday.
“We have some juniors and sophomores who got a taste of what they can expect for next year,” Contente said. “We’ll be back (in the playoffs) next year. We have kids who want to get better like Hailey Monroe. I haven’t seen a kid improve like that in a long time. She’s come a long ways.”
West Campus hosts No. 6 Colfax in the second round Thursday.