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Ripon squeaks out overtime victory over Los Banos
Excel Academys Tia Torio, formerly of East Union, tries to strip the ball away from Ripon Christians Teagan Manus, who scored 26 points to lead the Knights to a 63-61 victory on Friday. - photo by Photo By Sean Kahler

What started out as a shootout ended up as a low-scoring defensive struggle in Ripon’s West Coast Jamboree consolation game at Miramonte High (Orinda) on Friday.

The Indians led 16-15 after the opening quarter but later held on to edge Los Banos in overtime, 42-39. Ripon (9-2) mustered just two points in the second as the Tigers (5-6) took a 23-18 lead into halftime, but Los Banos scored three points in the third.

“We shot a little bit better than we did (Thursday in a 41-28 loss to Paradise), but not by much,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “I don’t know what it was, both teams just kind of went into a lull in the second quarter and it was a defensive struggle after that. We had to earn this win, and that’s the biggest thing we got out of it.”

Kelsey Alexander and Taylor Vernon hit big shots in crunch time. Alexander (9 rebounds, 3 steals) scored seven of her nine points in the fourth and overtime periods, and Vernon (8 points) drilled two 3s over that same stretch.

Ruth Waters finished with 15 points, five steals and three assists to lead Ripon. Tia Sidtikun was held to just two points but grabbed nine boards. Her contributions were huge because the Indians were already missing Morgan Carrico (flu) in the post.

“Tia played hurt (leg) and that’s why she didn’t score a lot, but she did a good job on defense and rebounding and did some tough work inside against their post players,” Contente said.

Los Banos’ Alexis Barcellos dropped down four 3-pointers and topped all scorers with 16 points.

Ripon competes for the Emerald Division’s consolation championship today at 12:30 p.m. against Fortuna.

Ripon Christian Tournament

Ripon Christian 63, Excel Academy 61

The Lady Knights (5-4) came through for their biggest win so far this season, stunning Excel (9-5) behind Teagan Manus’ 26 points. Ripon Christian outscored the Pumas 20-12 in the fourth quarter to take a 51-42 lead and held on from there.

Jenny Wickham (12 points) nailed a 3-pointer with a minute left to put RC up for good, and Kaylie Colyn (13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) with 10 seconds remaining sank two free throws to seal it.

Leticia Infante pumped in 26 points for Excel, a first-year team made up of several transfers from Manteca Unified schools. Infante played for Weston Ranch’s varsity squad as a sophomore last year.

The Knights will tangle with Big Valley Christian (11-3) for the championship tonight at 7:30.