RIPON — Just hours after signing his letter of intent to play football for Humboldt State on Tuesday, Aaron Paschini punctuated Ripon’s 65-62 boys basketball win over Mountain House with a transition dunk followed by a coast-to-coast layup off a steal moments later in the fourth quarter.
It wasn’t the 71-48 blowout of these same Mustangs about a month ago, but it was good enough for the Indians (9-0, 20-4 overall) to capture at least a share of the Trans-Valley League title. They were aided by neighboring rival Ripon Christian, which downed second-place Hilmar.
Ripon can guarantee an outright share of the championship with a win at Riverbank on Thursday.
“We survived senior night,” Ripon coach Rod Wright said. “It was just one of those games. We did not shoot very well.”
Paschini, one of 10 seniors recognized before the game, finished with 14 points, six blocks and five steals. Noah Hernandez led the attack with 23 points, but it was his defense that helped the Indians get over the hump.
Simrat Brar poured in a game-high 25 points, including five 3s, to pace Mountain House (3-6, 13-11), but Hernandez shut him out in the fourth quarter. Justin Amundson picked up the slack in the final period, scoring 10 of his 15 points. He drained the last of his three 3s at the buzzer. Mountain House made 11 3-pointers in all.
Ripon Christian 57,
RIPON — The Knights (5-5, 15-9) won’t be able to successfully defend their title, but they’re making a late-season push to qualify for the postseason.
They upset second-place Hilmar (7-3, 15-9) for their fifth straight win Tuesday. Zach Cortright, who finished with 14 points, helped Ripon Christian ice it with two big 3s in the final two minutes. Andrew Vander Weide scored 15 points, and Ty Beidleman had 11.
Carter Azevedo and Xavier Burke led the Yellowjackets with 22 and 18 points, respectively.
Ripon Christian 27
HILMAR — Despite shooting 18 percent from the field, Ripon Christian (5-5, 11-13) had a chance to steal a road win when Kelly Engle drained two free throws to cut the deficit to six with 2 minutes remaining.
“We just couldn’t hit a bucket after that,” Ripon Christian coach Ed Mulder said. “When you shoot 18 percent you can’t win ballgames, and that happens when you’re playing on the road.
Hiilmar (8-2, 15-8) led 21-9 at halftime as the Knights shot 1 for 15 from the field. Hailey Chavez led all scorers with 19 points, while Renae Heida had seven for RC, which had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Mountain House 49, Ripon 32
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — The Indians (5-4, 11-12) could not overcome a rough shooting night, while first-place Mountain House (8-1, 16-8) drained seven 3-pointers.
Andrea Garcia and Tatyana Jackson fired 16 and 12 points, respectively, for the Mustangs. Ripon’s Reina Sausedo scored 15.
Ripon Christian 51,
HILMAR — Alexis Hilvers produced 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Knights (6-4, 12-10).
Sarah Brown chimed in with 14 points, five assists and three steals. Rilee Beidleman had seven points and seven boards.
Mountain House 37
RIPON — Troy Brogan fired 23 points and secured 13 rebounds as the Indians (9-0, 21-1) continued their dominant march toward a TVL title.
Dorian Dougherty contributed 11 points, and Nico Ilardi added eight assists and four steals.