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Boys' Basketball Team's Journey to Playoffs

Nimrit Hayer, Student Life Editor

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The 2018-2019 Ripon High School boys’ basketball team made it to playoffs after dominating their league and going undefeated all season.

The RHS team did not lose once in league games, even though the team is fairly young. The team only has five seniors and the rest are juniors and sophomores. After getting first place in the league, the next step was playoffs, and the Indians faced Calaveras High School at home.

“It was a cool accomplishment. It is always a goal to make playoffs,” junior starting post Vincent Olmo said.

Although Ripon faced a loss against Calaveras 55-68, they are proud of a successful season. In the Calaveras game, senior Kyle Sisk led the Indians with 18 points, junior Vincent Olmo had 13 points, and junior Baz Cheema scored 10 points.

There’s always something we can improve on, but we battled, we fought, and we never gave up, which is something to hold on to”

— Coach Justin Graham

The team has come a long way since the beginning of the season with many accomplishments as well as challenges that they had to overcome, such as Olmo’s knee injury right before the first playoff game.

“We lost, and I couldn’t play at my 100 percent. I gave it my all trying to help my team, but at the end of the day,  it wasn’t enough,” Olmo stated.

Olmo’s teammates also wanted his best game, which was not as likely due to the injury, and they had to hope he would be better for the Calaveras game.

“I just prayed Vince would be healthy for the Calaveras game,” Baz Cheema said.

Although, the team’s journey has been extremely prosperous due to their ability to work hard and dedicate themselves to the game.

“We exceeded our expectations. I always thought we could win league, but I didn’t know we could go undefeated because it doesn’t happen often, but we should be proud of it,” Varsity Coach Justin Graham claimed.

Although some may have been skeptical about the team’s performance due to the team having many young players, the team excelled forward.

“Our lack of experience did not affect us, and we have a bright future ahead of us for next year,” Cheema said.

Graham also noticed the development in the team’s capabilities from the beginning of the season to the end of the season.

“Throughout the season, we got better each week, each month. We kept getting better as we went on and became more cohesive as a team. We became a good team,” Graham stated.

Now that this successful season is over for the team, excitement for next year’s season is already here.

“Getting better and working with the guys is important to focus on. Right now, I am looking forward to Spring and Summer ball, getting in the gym, and getting better,” Graham said.

The players have already begun preparing for next year’s season as well.

“I look forward to next season, especially playing Escalon again,” Cheema claimed.

The 2018-2019 team put in a lot of hard work and dedication to go undefeated in league and make it to playoffs. The team has clearly shown a talent for teamwork, and Graham wants the team to be proud of their accomplishments.

“There’s always something we can improve on, but we battled, we fought, and we never gave up, which is something to hold on to,” Graham stated.

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