RIPON — Practice makes perfect — almost.
With Ripon Christian creeping back into Friday night’s home contest with Ripon, Indians sophomore Troy Brogan went 5 of 6 from the free-throw line down the stretch and added a 3-pointer for good measure to lead Ripon to a 61-51 Trans-Valley League win.
“I have been struggling at the line recently,” said Brogan, who scored eight of his team-leading 16 points in the fourth quarter. Brogan said. “I got in the gym before the game tonight and got some free throws up. Those ones at the end were big.
“It was a good team win and we are going to keep trying to roll through league.”
The Knights’ Andrew Vander Weide did all he could to keep Ripon Christian (3-2 TVL, 11-7 overall) in the game. Vander Weide tallied 12 of his game-high 22 points on put-backs and nine of his 13 rebounds were off of the offensive glass. He also had four steals.
“He scored for us,” Knights coach Mark Hofman said of Vander Weide. “He had nine offensive rebounds and he guarded one of their best players, Vince Olmo. He did everything for us tonight.
“We worked hard, but it’s a very simple game — we missed open shots. You have to hit those, and they hit open shots with at least five different guys hitting 3-pointers. That’s what it came down to — it’s not complicated.”
Vander Weide started the game with back-to-back put-backs and scored Ripon Christian’s first six points before Ripon (5-0, 14-6) ended the first quarter on a 13-3 run for a 19-9 lead.
“They continued to play hard and Vander Weide got a lot of things underneath the rim,” Indians coach Rod Wright said. “We are weak on offensive rebounding and Vander Weide took care of that.
“It made for a very competitive game. Brogan and all of our sophomores (Nico Ilardi and Danny Hernandez) had a good game tonight because we knew they were going to go in and double and triple (Vincent) Olmo wherever they could.”
Olmo and Hernandez had eight points and Ilardi six. In addition to the Ripon sophomore attack, senior Kyle Sisk was a two-way threat, scoring 15 points and making seven steals.
“Kyle Sisk comes to play,” Wright said. “We expect Kyle to get steals — I didn’t realize he had seven. I knew we were touching a lot of balls early so we knew later in the game we could tire them out a bit because they are not as deep as we are.”
Sisk put up eight of his 15 points in the final period.
“We got our energy up there at the end and finished it off,” Sisk said. “I do a lot of gambling on defense and then cheat out with my arms up.”
Jadon Vander Molen and Cade Alger each had nine points for the Knights.
Ripon Christian 47,
The Knights’ Will Gilbert led all scorers with 21 points.
Dorian Dougherty had 18 points for the Indians.
Ripon Christian 67,
Ripon 64 (OT)
Jake Grondz and Lukas Van Groningen put up 19 points each for the Knights and Reed Van Der Hoek added 10.
Malik Taylor led the Indians with 20 points followed by Austin Bonilla with 16 and Landon Stevens with 14.