RIPON — The Southern League girls basketball title is likely to be shared by its two parochial schools for a second straight season.
Ripon Christian held off a fourth-quarter charge by Haile Bergman and the Turlock Christian Eagles to prevail 64-53 and force a two-way tie atop the conference standings with three games remaining.
“We wanted it badly,” said Bergman, who poured in 29 points, seven rebounds, four assists, five steals and three blocks. “This game meant the world to us. This was a tough loss, but we’ll come back strong for the playoffs.”
The Pacific-bound guard nearly carried her squad all the way back from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit. She scored 10 straight points for the Eagles (10-1, 20-4 overall) at one point to close them in 53-49, but she fouled out with 1:29 to go with TC down, 57-51.
The Eagles last led 35-33 with 5:19 left in the third quarter, but didn’t score again until 44 seconds into the fourth as RC staged a 16-0 run.
“They’re a good team, we’re a good team and it’s been a great rivalry the last two or three years,” Bergman said. “We were back in it, but we just missed too many shots and too many opportunities and I had that stupid foul there in the end.”
Katie Farrar added 10 points and 11 boards for Turlock Christian. Ripon Christian (10-1, 16-6) was paced by Jenny Wickham’s 25 points, and Teagan Manus recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.