Varsity dribbles back into spotlight

Je%E2%80%99Lani+Clark+%E2%80%9920+powers+over+San+Ramon+Valley+players+for+a+basket.
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Varsity dribbles back into spotlight

Je’Lani Clark ’20 powers over San Ramon Valley players for a basket.

Je’Lani Clark ’20 powers over San Ramon Valley players for a basket.

Viggen Rassam '87

Je’Lani Clark ’20 powers over San Ramon Valley players for a basket.

Viggen Rassam '87

Viggen Rassam '87

Je’Lani Clark ’20 powers over San Ramon Valley players for a basket.

Eddie Monares ’19, Social Media Editor

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Varsity Basketball has had a strong start to the season so far. The team is currently 4-3, including the Crusader Classic and Gridley Tournament, as well as a non-conference scrimmage against Dublin High School.

The team has been working hard in the weight room, the film room and on the court since the summer and is ready for another CCS run and possibly another shot at state.

Justice Turner ’19 said, “The first week into summer we started preparing for summer league and summer league lasted the whole summer so we really had no off season.”

The first game was against Dublin, who was ranked number three in the Mercury News Bay Area Boys Basketball season preview rankings, just behind Riordan at number two.

The Crusaders got down by 14 early, but the team gave their best effort to get back into the game and wound up only losing by four points.

Turner said, “The loss humbled the team as a whole and it helped us really see what we needed to improve on.”

The team’s next games were in the 60th annual Crusader Classic Tournament, and their opponent in the first round was the Sacred Heart Prep Gators.

The team soundly beat the Gators 73-54 behind a 16 point performance by Je’Lani Clark ’20, and moved on to the semi finals against San Ramon Valley.

The game against San Ramon Valley was the debut of guard Bryce Monroe ’20, who transferred to Riordan from Sacred Heart Cathedral. One of the reasons Monroe transferred to Riordan was to reunite with his cousin, Je’Lani. Turner said, “The addition of Bryce, Riiny Giir ’20, and Chan Riiny ’20 have been a huge part to the team’s good start to the season because they bring more depth and talent to our team.”

In his debut, Monroe scored a game high 20 points. Riordan beat San Ramon Valley 73-56 and advanced to the Championship of the Crusader Classic.

In the championship, the Crusaders played St. Francis (La Canada). In a close, tight battle, St. Francis edged out the Crusaders 60-52.

Up next was a 141 mile drive to Gridley, for the Gridley Invitational Tournament.

Riordan’s first game was against Saint Joseph Notre Dame. A last second game winner by Monroe propelled the Crusaders to a 58-56 win. The Crusaders lost against Salesian 66- 57 but went on to beat the Branson Bulls 61- 51 to take third place in the tournament.