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Stuart Hall’s Lum, pressure defense too much for RC in NorCal quarterfinal
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Eleventh-seeded Ripon Christian jumped out to a 10-4 lead, but No. 3 Stuart Hall of San Francisco turned up the defensive intensity and rolled to a 49-40 victory in a California Interscholastic Federation NorCal Division V quarterfinal at Kezar Pavilion.

Stuart Hall (19-12), led by Brandon Lum’s 29 points, travels across the Bay to play No. 2 Head-Royce in the semifinals on Saturday. Head-Royce held off No. 10 Bradshaw Christian, 45-40.

“We were doing OK, and then they really ramped up the pressure and we could not catch up,” Ripon Christian coach Mark Hofman said. “They (applied) lots of pressure full-court all game. They doubled the ball and our guys were scrambling.”

Eli Terpsma scored 17 points for Ripon Christian (21-9). Six-foot-8 Thys Van Der Hoek contributed 11 points and 15 rebounds. Although RC had a significant advantage in height, Stuart Hall more than made up for it with speed, on-ball pressure and outside shooting. Lum hit three of his four 3-pointers in the first quarter. 

“It was great to be on the same floor with a program like Stuart Hall,” Hofman said. “We were down six points at one point in the fourth quarter and kept it close, we just couldn’t get over the hump. That’s a testament to the guys to be able to go toe-to-toe with a team like that.”

The Knights close out another winning season and have reason to be proud despite coming up short of another NorCal title — they claimed the Division VI crown two years ago a week before the COVID-19 pandemic caused a statewide shutdown. Ripon Christian’s core of eight juniors led the team to a Trans-Valley League title and deep postseason run.

“The season overall is a great success,” Hofman said. “I think we achieved more than we thought we would.”