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Ripon improves chances for playoffs
RC likely in despite loss to TVL champion MC
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Final girls basketball standings
                    League  overall
Modesto Ch.    10-0    20-7
Hughson           8-2    19-6
Ripon                6-4    12-14
Ripon Ch.          4-6    10-13
Escalon             2-8     6-18
Riverbank          0-10   2-19


ESCALON — After piecing together one of its best halves of basketball all season, Ripon’s girls basketball team is now crossing its fingers.
The Indians jumped on Escalon with a 19-point first quarter and churned out an easy 45-27 victory to close Trans Valley League play.
Ripon (6-4, 12-14 overall) is hoping that its two wins this week, the first being a 40-37 overtime thriller against in-town foe Ripon Christian, are good enough to sneak into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs. The Indians are 19th on the final regular-season playoff power ratings with Calaveras sitting on the 16th and last available berth.
“We’re still fighting for playoffs, so we wanted to come out strong,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “This could be our seniors’ last game, so they had a little incentive. They wanted to get off to a good start.”
And it was the Indians’ two senior starters that led the way on Senior Night. Skye Dominguez turned in a game-high 12 points, and Jessica Blythe added 10. Junior center Lauren Feddersen chipped in eight points.
“We had great execution against their zone early on,” Contente said. We were able to make our shots and score inside. It was good for us. We made our shots when we had open looks.
“It was a good way to finish out the regular season. We played very well, and everybody got a lot of playing time.”
The section will release its playoff brackets Sunday on its website,
Modesto Christian 66, Ripon Christian 12
In Ripon, the Knights (4-6, 10-13) struggled against powerful Modesto Christian (10-0, 20-7) in all facets.
Taryn Garza and Brandi Henton scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, to lead the Crusaders. Christine Rettinhouse topped all Ripon Christian scorers with three.
Despite finishing out the season with three consecutive losses to the league’s top three teams, the Knights stand a good chance at qualifying for the Division V playoffs. They ranked 11th according the section’s Division V power ratings.
“Wanted to keep them under 70 (points) and we did that, but they’re a very good team,” Ripon Christian coach Kirk Tillema said. “We’re just getting for playoffs.”

— Jonamar Jacinto