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Undefeated Argonaut downs hard-luck Ripon
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Ripon High battled to get back in it, it battled to keep it close and it battled until the end. Nonetheless, Ripon saw its season come to an end in a 47-40 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Girls Basketball Championships second round loss to Argonaut Thursday in Jackson.

The Indians were forced to deal with not having a practice session in preparation for the second round contest after snowing in the hills forced them to postpone their first round match with Bret Harte. The setback pilfered Ripon of time to get ready for Argonaut, to rest heavy legs, and unfortunately it cost the Indians.

“We didn’t have the extra day to prepare ourselves adequately I think,” Ripon head coach George Contente said. “The CIF (Sac-Joaquin Section_ probably could have given us a Friday game to give us another day if the weather worked out, but they didn’t and we had to play.

“That is just the way it goes.”

Ruth Waters led the Indians effort with a 14 point, six steal, five rebound performance. Kelsey Alexander chipped in with eight points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.

The most telling stat of the contest likely came on the charity stripe, where host Argonaut outshot the Indians 30 free throw attempts to four. Ripon converted on three of its four, but it was nothing in comparison to Argonaut’s conversion of 15.

“The calls,” Contente said of the unexplainable difference in free throw attempts. “They were getting some of the calls and we weren’t.  When you shoot 30 free throws to our four and they make 15, well that’s 15 points and we lost by seven.

“That is a big difference.”

The Indians, the tourney’s No. 5 seed, would have found themselves one win from the championship game had their fortunes been different. Now they will have to cope with the heart-wrenching loss and be able to look back at the season as the success it was.

“I’m proud of the girls, they did a great job and they worked their butts off,” Contente said. “Things just didn’t work out like we wanted them to work.”