RIPON Save for one bad quarter, the Bret Harte High School girls' basketball team might be celebrating the championship of the Ripon Christian Tournament.
The Bullfrogs (7-6) led 29-27 at halftime, but got outscored 19-6 in the third quarter of Saturday night's title game and lost 61-46 to tournament host Ripon Christian in its sparkling new gym. Bret Harte made the finals with a 59-41 semifinal victory over Oakdale on Friday after opening the eight-team tournament Thursday with a 42-21 romp past Central Catholic of Modesto.
"Our third quarters against some of the better teams (like Ripon Christian) haven't been what we need to stay in the games," Bret Harte coach Mike Lewis said.
Ripon Christian, a perennial Sac-Joaquin Section small-school power, actually began its decisive move late in the second quarter by whittling a seven-point deficit to two. Jen Van Groningen led the Knights with 18 points, while all-tournament guard Megan Shires and all-tourney forward Tawnie Lee led Bret Harte with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
Less scored 12 and Shires 11 against Oakdale, which the Bullfrogs subdued with a 15-4 burst in the second quarter for a 29-17 halftime lead.
Modesto Christian tourney
The Bret Harte boys (6-8) salvaged their final game in the huge hoopfest, which was played at three sites Modesto Christian, Modesto Junior College and Ripon High and included a number of Southern California powerhouses. The Bullfrogs beat Ripon 56-35 on Saturday behind 12 points by Guy Castle and 10 by Jeremiah Johnston.
A persistent press and a patient offense paced the victory.
Bret Harte lost 72-54 to Hercules of the East Bay on Friday and 65-47 to Sheldon of Sacramento in the first of two games Saturday. Travis Emerson scored 25 points and Aaron Elevi 10 against Hercules, and Johnston led the Bullfrogs against Sheldon with 11.