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Ripon, RC fall to first-place teams
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The result shows a rather ho-hum victory for Modesto Christian’s powerhouse girls basketball team, which captured a piece of its fifth straight Trans Valley League championship by downing Ripon High 76-47 at home Thursday.

Take away the third quarter, however, and you will find that the Indians (8-2, 19-5 overall) battled valiantly against a team that hasn’t lost a TVL game since joining in 2006-07.

They were tied at 9 at the end of the first quarter, and Ripon trailed just 29-24 at halftime despite having its two starting post players, Rachel Rodriguez and Rachel McCann, in foul trouble.

But in the third, Modesto Christian (10-0, 17-7) broke it open with a 25-6 run.

“At the beginning we were playing good defense and were able to break the press, which isn’t easy against a team like Modesto Christian,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “That’s a team you cannot let up against, and in the third quarter we got away from what we were doing (well).

“For three out of four quarters we were right there with them.”

Kendra Contente topped all players with 17 points, including two 3-pointers and a 9-of-10 effort from the free-throw line. The four-year senior guard was forced to play out of position for much of the first half, filling in on the low block with McCann and Rodriguez (8 points) benched.

Sophomores Tia Sidtikun and Ruth Waters contributed 10 and nine points, respectively.

Crafty point guard Mariah Brown paced the Crusaders with 15 points and Danielle Thompson had 13 as MC had six different players pour in at least eight.

Ripon wraps up the TVL season with Riverbank (Tuesday) and Orestimba (Thursday) both at home next week.

Southern League

Turlock Christian 58, Ripon Christian 50

In Turlock, the Knights (10-2, 17-6) dug themselves a 13-3 hole to start and sliced what was a double-digit deficit down to six in the fourth quarter.

Kaylie Colyn spearheaded RC with 15 points, Morgan Alger had 12 and Mikayla Manus had 10.

Turlock Christian (12-0, 17-8) secured at least a share of a second straight conference title with the victory.