Ripon came out with a stifling defense Wednesday, allowing just 10 first-half points for visiting Hilmar while forcing nine turnovers on the way to a 56-37 win on opening night of the Trans-Valley League boys basketball schedule.
“Based on what we saw in film, we figured we could pressure them a little bit,” Ripon coach Justin Graham said. “It’s something that we have been practicing literally for a year now.
“So the guys know what to do and where to be. It’s like second nature.”
The onslaught continued for three quarters with the Indians (1-0 TVL, 4-11 overall) leading 48-22 going into the final period. Ripon cleared its bench in the fourth quarter and was outscored 15-8 in the final quarter.
“Games like this all our guys get an opportunity to play well and do what we talk about in our pre-game meetings and our practice,” Graham said. “This is their opportunity to show that they can do that stuff
“We would have liked to have seen them do better, but that will come in time.”
The Indians Jack Schooland led all scorers with 12 points. Ty Herrin (four steals, three assists), Reed Holland (five rebounds, three assists) and Dawson Downs added eight points apiece.
“When we are playing against a zone I would say it’s a lot easier for our big men to score because it’s a lot of dump downs,” Schooland said. “Anyone could have finished at the rim like I did.”
The Ripon defense was led by Marcus Madoski who made three rebounds, three blocks and a steal in the second quarter as part of that stifling first-half defensive effort and finished with seven boards, four blocks and two steals.
“We just fight really hard on defense,” Madoski said. “Everyone is working together trying to keep a positive mindset.
“We try to be a presence inside the key and box everyone out and get the boards.”
Jason Moniz led the Yellowjackets (0-1, 7-11) with 10 points and Derek Taylor (six rebounds, three steals) added eight points.
“This is our first league game,” Hilmar coach Austin Keaton said. “We are still going through a transition period with these guys.
“We’re playing hard; we just have to put it all together. We are taking steps in the right direction from where we started and we just have to keep taking it day by day, game by game and keep grinding.”