The Smoke Signal

Free Throw for the Win

Rachel Sausedo

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The Ripon Indians had a phenomenal win against the Ripon Christian Knights with a final score of 56-55.   Playing against their cross-town rival, the boys were eager to defeat their opponent once again and take the first place title in TVL.

With only 35 points at the end of the third quarter, the boys were able to overcome the gap by scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter.  Each team had 55 points in the final two minutes of the game, 

Vincent Olmo makes the game-winning free throw with five seconds remaining in the game.

creating a heart-stopping moment for the crowd.  A junior, Vincent Olmo, was able to keep the Indians from going into overtime by making one of his free throws with five seconds left in the game.

“When I was shooting my free throws, I just tried to calm myself down and focus on making them.  Luckily, I was able to make one out of two and it turned out to be enough,” Olmo stated, “It was a

 good feeling to make the game-winning free throw, but we couldn’t have gotten to that point without the comeback and great team basketball in the fourth quarter.”

The boys stepped up their game in the second half and were able to knock down their shots.  Nico Ilardi scored 12 out of the 21 points in the fourth quarter, making a huge contribution to the comeback against the Ripon Christian Knights.

Ilardi, a sophomore, stated, ¨It felt really good to contribute in our comeback, especially in a rivalry game against RC.  You never want to lose against your cross-town rival, so I was just trying my best to help the team pull out a win.¨

The boys were able to forget about the score and focus on winning their last game in league.  With the increase in their shooting percentage, the boys were able to regain their confidence.

Junior, Baz Cheema mentioned, ¨I was scared we were going to lose our first game and ruin the undefeated streak at the end of the season.  It made it worse that it was our cross-town rival and they were talking all game.  It felt great to come back and beat them and show everyone who runs Ripon.¨

The boys were focused on winning their last game of league and ending the season as undefeated champions.  The team was able to celebrate their victory by cutting down one of the nets, representing their accomplishment of winning TVL.

Cheema stated, ¨But I knew that if there was any team that could redeem themselves from being down 15 points in the final quarter, it was the back to back league champions.¨

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Free Throw for the Win