Ripon Christian drew several fouls in the second quarter and took advantage of its opportunities from the free-throw line to build a 31-15 lead at the half.
The Knights, the No. 3 seed in 12-team Division V bracket, went 24-for-34 from the line, while the Dragons, the No. 11 seed, went 7-for-13 on free throws.
The Dragons (17-8, 13-1 Mountain Valley League) stayed in the game with outside shooting from sophomore guard Drammell Pitts. The team's leading scorer with 14 points, Pitts hit four 3-point shots, including one at the final buzzer of both the first and second quarters.
But the Knights (23-4, 14-0 Southern League) were strong on the inside, outrebounding the Dragons and holding 6-foot-5 Delta Charter senior center Joseph Peebles to 10 points, about half his per-game average.
“We played a very physical game both ways,” Peebles said. “In the end, I don’t think that they beat us physically, but maybe they did beat us in transition.”
Delta Charter was the only Tracy-area basketball team to make the second round of the playoffs, and it’s the farthest the team has gone in the postseason in its four years, including three years as the Mountain Valley League champion.
“We wanted to go all the way to the (section) championship and win it all, but we played a good season,” Peebles said. “In my senior year, I was happy that I got to play with this team and that we got as far as we did, and I hope they go further next year.”
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.