RIPON – Practice makes perfect.
Mountain House’s Arielle Tala put her long hours in the gym to good use Thursday, drilling back-to-back 3-pointers at the end of the third quarter and adding another down the stretch in the fourth period to help the Mustangs to a 43-39 Trans-Valley League win over host Ripon.
“We have a bunch of players capable of going on a run with 3-pointers,” Mountain House coach Reno Ursal said. “Tala practices them all the time and now that is translating into the games.
After the Mustangs (3-0 TVL, 11-7 overall) took a seven-point halftime lead, the Indians (2-1, 8-8) clawed their way back to take a 29-28 lead with 2:10 left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Reina Sausedo (10 points, five rebounds, three steals).
Tala (17 points) then buried two from behind the arc – the second one as time was running out – to give Mountain House a lead it would not relinquish.
Twice in the fourth quarter Ripon came within three points – once on a three-point play by Felicia Ceja (10 points, four rebounds) with 6:08 left in the game and again on a pair of free throws by Katie Kaiser (eight points, four rebounds) a minute later. The Indians managed just two points in the game’s final 91 seconds.
“It was a battle,” Ripon coach Rick Inderbitzin said. “Going into the game I knew they would be a tough team to play against because the coaches have said they are the team to beat in the TVL, so I knew we would have to play a pretty good game to beat them.
“I thought we played decent, but we missed a few easy shots inside and that gave them the opportunity to pull away a little bit at times. We did a great job rebounding and overall we did a pretty good job but we just came out on the short end of the stick.”
Mia Van Lewen pulled down 11 rebounds and scored seven points for the Indians and Savannah Clark had 10 rebounds.
Ripon Christian 36
Visiting Hilmar (3-1, 10-7) won it in overtime, outscoring the Knights (1-3, 6-11) 5-0 in the extra session.
Morgan Van Elderen had a chance to end it in the final seconds of regulation, but her contested jumper from the baseline fell short.
Renae Heida produced 11 points and 16 rebounds for Ripon Christian. Hailey Chavez scored 16 points to lead the Yellowjackets.
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The Indians held the Mustangs scoreless in the third quarter.
Mia Culver led the blistering Ripon attack with 19 points and seven steals. Araceli Gonzalez added eight points, Mali Herron had nine rebounds, Halie Rines six rebounds and Mia Benzinger had three steals and four assists.
Ripon Christian 45,
The Knights outscored Hilmar 28-7 to race away with the victory.
Ariel Vander Woude accumulated 20 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. Sarah Brown added 13 points and six assists. Rilee Beidleman had 10 points and six rebounds. Recent addition Saylor De Abru contributed seven rebounds.
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The Mustangs could not manage more than five points in any quarter.
Lili Mejia paced the balanced Indians with nine points. Mikayla Vaught chipped in eight points and Natalie Ventra and Alyssa Barrios had six points each.