RIPON — Ripon High claimed hometown bragging rights over host Ripon Christian following Tuesday’s Trans-Valley League clash.
Behind a balanced scoring attack and hustling defense, the first-place Indians rolled to a 64-42 victory.
“It’s great to have this kind of rivalry in the TVL,” Ripon coach George Contente said.
This all-Ripon matchup was slogged down by foul trouble. Indicative to that was a total of 52 free throws by the two squads.
“Everyone stepped up, everyone contributed,” said Contente, who was proud of the boost he received from his reserves in place of the starters.
Ripon Christian coach Ed Mulder added that his team lacked intensity.
“We had plenty of adrenaline flowing early on but we eventually got tired after the first half,” he said.
League-leading Ripon (6-0 TVL, 13-8) maintained a one-game advantage over Mountain House, which defeated Escalon 56-50.
“There’s still a long ways to go in league – right now, we have a target on our back,” Contente said.
The Knights (4-2 TVL, 10-9) had the slight edge early on. Jessica Orozco drilled a pair of first-quarter 3s and assisted Elizabeth Weststeyn on her roll to the basket.
Nicole Graham powered her way for a field goal while hitting 3 of 4 from the foul line.
The Indians kept pace by converting eight of their 14 from the line in the second quarter. RC led 21-16 midway through the period on a Graham free throw.
The tide began to turn for Ripon as Sarah De Freitas scored on a layup and Jill Jamero’s put-back at the 3:13 mark before the intermission, knotting the game at 23-23.
In the final 90 seconds, Karla Calderon connected on two treys to lead a 9-2 Indians run. Jamero then went coast–to-coast on a basket following a steal.
She finished with a game-high 15 points, five steals, and five boards.
Ripon rode some of that momentum into the second half, with sophomore Savannah Clark and De Freitas taking the reins in the third quarter.
But prior to that, RC kept pace thanks to an Orozco field goal and free throws by Bailey Broker and Orozco.
Ahead 38-36, Clark and De Freitas helped the Indians pull away, spearheading an 11-0 run to end the quarter.
The Indians eventually wore down the Knights, who managed just two field goals in the second half.
“Credit Ripon – they just outhustled us today,” Mulder said.
Graham led RC with 12 points. Orozco chipped in with 10 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. Bailey Broker also had seven boards.
For Ripon, Clark had 14 and De Freitas finished with 10 points, five steals and three rebounds.
Haylee Monroe and Calderon both hit for nine points while Kaylyn Evans grabbed eight boards.
“It’s good to have this (all-Ripon) rivalry,” Mulder said. “The turnout for this game was great for both teams.”