Hard-luck Ripon suffered its fourth loss in five games Tuesday, as a layup to tie it in the end was off the mark in a 49-47 loss to Hughson.
The Huskies (4-2, 7-9 overall), coming off a big win at Ripon Christian, are now in second-place in the crowded Trans-Valley League race. They avenged an earlier two-point loss to the Indians (3-3, 11-11), whose recent losses have come by six or less points including an overtime setback against TVL-leading Riverbank.
“Every night we have to be prepared for a battle because it’s wide open in league right now,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “It was a good, hard-fought game, but we need to start finishing off these games. We had good looks at the basket in the end and we missed too many free throws.”
Ripon took a 27-19 lead into halftime but was limited to just five points in the third. Zaire Davis pumped in 16 points to lead Ripon, and Karissa Carlson added nine. Hughson was anchored by Jessica Garcia and Mackenzie Babbitt, who fired 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Ripon Christian 46,
In Hilmar, Ripon Christian (4-2, 13-4) used a 17-4 run in the third quarter to race away with a much-needed win. The Knights shook off a rusty first half and led 13-12 at the break.
Nicole Graham led a balanced scoring effort with 12 points. Ellen Blankers chipped in nine, and Carly Tillema pulled down 13 rebounds to go with eight points. Pam Radach contributed 11 boards.
“We played really good defensive tonight but offensively we struggled in the first half,” Ripon Christian coach Ed Mulder said. “The girls played a really good third quarter, probably one of the best we’ve played in a while.”
Ripon Christian 40,
Molly Hoeksema finished with 14 points, while Lyndsey Van Groningen (eight rebounds) and Kelly Engel scored eight apiece for the surging Knights (7-1, 17-4).