Tough schedule paying off for Ripon

SALIDA -- Ripon High boys basketball coach Rod Wright says his team has had some pretty good offensive outings this season.

But because the Indians have played a rough schedule -- 11 of their first 12 opponents are schools with much larger enrollments -- their 5-7 record doesn't translate.

Ripon put it all together against Beyer in a consolation game Monday at the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic at Modesto Christian High School.

Matt Ratto scored 24 points in the first three quarters and Efren Sifuentes and Dane Wells added 17 as Ripon beat Division I Beyer 86-63.

The Indians will play Merced for 13th place today at 11 a.m. Beyer and Turlock will face off for 15th place today at 9:30 a.m.

A list of Ripon's opponents reveals it isn't playing softies, either.

Berkeley. St. Mary's. Jesuit. Sacramento. Clovis East.

"This schedule's much tougher than our schedule last year," Wright said. "And last year's was pretty tough. This level of play is only going to make us better."

The Indians rarely missed a shot early. Ratto scored eight points in each of the first three quarters, then became a distributor, dishing to teammates with flashy passes for assists.

Sifuentes heated up late, pouring in eight points in the fourth quarter. Wells, a 6-foot-4-inch senior forward, was the beneficiary of several passes from Ratto and Sifuentes. He made layups and several shots from the key.

Bryan Garbez led Beyer with 24 points. The physical 6-5 forward scored most of his points in the low post. But the Patriots fell behind early and never could catch up.

"This was a big win for us," Wright said. 'And after Merced (today), we'll start playing teams more our own size."


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ETIWANDA 55, INGLEWOOD 40 -- Perris Blackwell scored 19 as the Eagles stopped the Sentinels in the nightcap semifinal.

Consolation games CLOVIS EAST 92, EAST BAKERSFIELD 83 -- Kevin Bailey scored 31 and Robert Sandoval added 18 as the Timberwolves advanced to the consolation championship with the win over the Blades. Davon Shelton led East Bakersfield with 28 points.

SHELDON 80, COLONY 78 -- The Huskies jumped out to a big early lead, then held on to beat the Titans, advacing to the consolation championship. Sophomore Darius Nelson led Sheldon with 27 points.

SKYLINE 76, SYLMAR 67 -- Junior guard Kevin Jackson scored a game-high 28, leading the Titans. Skyline held Sylmar's top player, UCLA signee Tyler Honeycutt, to five points, all in the first half.

Bee staff writer Will DeBoard can be reached at or call 578-2300.