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Valley Christian is beaten on the boards in loss to Ripon Christian

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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RIPON--The Grinnell System is the sum of several parts, and one was missing for Valley Christian Academy on Friday night. And one, as it turned out, was all it took to make a difference.

Third-seeded Ripon Christian dominated the boards and dominated the sixth-seeded Lions 93-65 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V quarterfinals. Ripon Christian advances to the semifinals Wednesday at Galt High School.

Valley Christian's goal was to rebound 33 percent of its misses, but the Knights (23-5), who matched the Lions in height, controlled the boards 42-28. Senior Jared Goslinga, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, led everyone with 37 points - on 16-of-22 shooting - and 14 rebounds. He had 25 points and 12 rebounds at halftime, scoring mostly wide-open layups on feeds from senior Josh Van Groningen (seven assists) and junior Dan Vos (six assists).

Valley Christian (20-7) had its 17-game winning streak and its season ended, but a third consecutive 20-win season and third Sacramento Metro Athletic League championship in a row - achieved after implementing The System for the first time - stood out in the mind of Lions coach Brad Gunter Jr.

"This season has been absolutely amazing," he said. "It's real sad it has to end here, but we have to give credit to Ripon Christian. That's a very well-coached team."

Gunter was the last to leave Valley Christian's locker room. The players exited one by one, many of them with red, puffy eyes and one or two others with tears still flowing. Not Gunter.

"I didn't shed one tear in our locker room. All we had to do was tip our hat to Ripon Christian," he said. "I'm proud of the kids. This is the funnest year I've ever had coaching. We went out on our terms."

Valley Christian exceeded several System goals in firing 54 three-pointers, forcing Ripon Christian into 28 turnovers and shuttling five players on and off the court every 35 seconds. But the Lions also got into foul trouble. Valley Christian had nine fouls by the time Ripon Christian was called for its first late in the opening quarter, and the Knights were in the double bonus 25 seconds into the second period.

Senior Wright Hagerty hit three three-pointers and scored 11 of his 17 points in the first quarter to help the Lions turn a 10-0 deficit into a 15-13 lead. The Knights overcame 13 turnovers in the first period by scoring the final 11 points, including a long three-point heave at the buzzer by junior John Vander Molen (19 points on five three-pointers).

The Knights already were breathing hard early in the second quarter, but they outscored Valley Christian 9-1 at the free throw line to open a 48-34 halftime lead.

"We couldn't sustain a run all night. That's part of playoff basketball," Gunter said. "We couldn't stay in the same attacking, all-together mode for 32 minutes."

Senior Jason Gish led the Lions with 20 points in his final game, including 14 in the second half, but Ripon Christian got even hotter in shooting 19 for 31 from the floor and making nine of its first 10 shots in the fourth period.

RIPON CHRISTIAN 93, VALLEY CHRISTIAN 65

Valley Christian (65)
Lazaresku 1 0-0 2, Gish 5 7-8 20, Shaw 1 2-2 4, Kobzeff 2 0-0 5, L. Hagerty 0 0-0 0, Flanagan 2 0-0 5, Flood 0 0-0 0, W. Hagerty 6 0-0 17, Mowry 2 0-1 4, Bowden 0 0-0 0, Gunter 1 1-2 4, Sween 0 0-2 0, Dillman 1 0-0 2, Burns 0 0-0 0, O'Connor 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 12-17 65.

Ripon Christian (93)
Ja. Goslinga 16 5-7 37, J. Vander Molen 6 2-2 19, Jo. Goslinga 1 2-2 4, Van Groningen 1 5-8 7, Vos 2 3-4 7, Vander Schaaf 3 2-2 8, Blankers 5 1-2 11, Koslosky 0 0-0 0, Boersma 0 0-0 0, D. Vander Molen 0 0-0 0, Manes 0 0-0 0, Dotinga 0 0-0 0, Alger 0 0-0 0, Broker 0 0-0 0. Totals 34 20-27 93.

Valley Christian   15   19   15   16--65
Ripon Christian   24   24   25   20--93


Three-point goals--Valley Christian 11-54 (W. Hagerty 5-9, Gish 3-11, Flanagan 1-13, Gunter 1-9, Kobzeff 1-2, L. Hagerty 0-4, Flood 0-2, Burns 0-2, Lazaresku 0-1, Mowry 0-1), Ripon Christian 5-9 (J. Vander Molen 5-7, Van Groningen 0-2). Total fouls--Valley Christian 21, Ripon Christian 15. Rebounds--Valley Christian 28 (W. Hagerty 5), Ripon Christian 42 (Ja. Goslinga 14). Assists--Valley Christian 1 (Lazaresku), Ripon Christian 17 (Van Groningen 7). Turnovers--Valley Christian 16, Ripon Christian 28.