ESCALON — The beat goes on for the Trans-Valley League’s top boys basketball team.
Noah Hernandez poured in 30 points in just three quarters of action Friday, while Aaron Paschini collected 15 points, eight steals, five assists and four blocks as Ripon outlasted Escalon, 89-70.
The host Cougars (2-7, 6-18 overall), who totaled 10 3-pointers, were able to keep up with the brisk pace at the start, but after trailing 46-36 at halftime Ripon (8-0, 19-4) outscored them 27-11 in the third to race away with it.
“Escalon played as well as they possibly could, we just have too many people who can score,” Ripon coach Rod Wright said. “They ran and pushed as hard as they could and hit a few 3s, but we kept the pressure on them and forced a lot of turnovers.”
Hernandez was often the beneficiary in transition. He shot 71 percent from the field, made all three of his free throws and hit three 3s for his single-game high for the season.
Cole Stevens chimed in with 14 points. Anthony Sisk finished with nine points and 10 rebounds. Ripon shot 21 for 27 on free throws.
Tommy Pangan paced four Cougars in double figures with 18 points. Sahil Prasad and Estephan Salcedo added 17 and 16, respectively.
The Indians will host their final home game of the regular season next Tuesday against Mountain House. Their last three games take place at Riverbank, Ripon Christian and Hilmar.
Ripon Christian 57,
RIVERBANK — The Knights (4-5 TVL, 13-19 overall) nabbed a much-needed revenge win to vault themselves back into the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason hunt. They now trail Riverbank (5-4, 11-11) by a game for the third and final automatic berth.
Ripon Christian, which trailed 24-23 at halftime, gained separation with a 23-11 surge in the third quarter.
Andrew Vander Weide buoyed the Knights with 18 points. Zach Cortright added 10. Carlos Villapudua and Robert Cunha scored 12 and 11 for Riverbank, respectively.
Central Catholic 64,
MODESTO — The Spartans (5-6 Valley Oak League, 13-11 overall) lost at the buzzer for the second time in three nights.
Amrit Dhaliwal was the hero for Central Catholic (8-3, 17-7), as he hit the game-winning 3 in the final seconds of a back-and-forth struggle. He ended up with 13 points, and teammate Jared Rice led all scorers with 20.
Junior Ballard paced Lathrop with 18 points, Michael Mills scored 11 and Dan Ballesteros 10.
Ripon 62, Escalon 38
ESCALON — Troy Brogan gashed Escalon for 20 points and 10 rebounds to help the Indians improve to 8-0 in the TVL and 20-1 overall.
Nico Ilardi registered 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Dorian Dougherty pitched in nine points.