Head coach Mark Hofman holds Ripon Christian's 13 Sac-Joaquin Section blue banner aloft (Samantha Schmidt).

Generational talent: Ripon Christian coasts past Futures for 13th section title

Ron Agostini

DAVIS—The Ripon Christian Knights basketball program is treated not unlike a timeless heirloom, passed from family to family and generation to generation.

 The families don’t change but the winning is constant. They may play football now at RC, but the Knights always always know their hoops. Their business-like 67-47 win over Futures of Sacramento in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title game on Friday afternoon was the program's 13th blue banner -- second in the section only to Modesto Christian -- and its second in a row.

Said senior guard Luke Crivello who contributed 15 points and a chipped tooth, "RC is always going to be around."

 The season for top-seeded Ripon Christian (24-6) took shape the moment 6-foot-9 senior center Jace Beidleman posted a “No visitors” sign in the paint. The Knights’ record-breaking shot-blocker put together a line that illustrated RC’s dominance—18 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, six blocks and many others shots altered.

Jace Beidleman led the Knights with 18 points scored during the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships at UC Davis (Samantha Schmidt).

The Futures roster doesn’t list heights but it’s safe to assume it didn’t have anyone tall enough to challenge Beidleman. He’s totaled 127 rejections for the season.

“It felt pretty comfortable,” he said.

That comfort level extended across the lineup. When Futures came out in a man defense, RC built a 16-8 lead. When Futures (26-6) opted to go zone, the Knights showered their  opponents with 3-pointers (10 for the game).

“I thought that this was one of our better games,” Ripon Christian coach Mark Hofman said. “What do you (with us) on defense?”

  Futures couldn’t execute what was needed. When your opponent hits 10 triples, assists on 20 of its 28 baskets and boasts a hammer down low in Beidleman, it will be a long night.

Ripon Christian applied an early dagger to end the first half. After Futures missed three straight free throws, RC responded with a triple by sophomore Jake Vander Veen, and moments later after a steal by Vander Veen, a 3-pointer by Crivello as the first-half clock expired.

Jake Vander Veen shoots past Futures Andrew Hadsell during the Sac-Joaquin Section championships at UC Davis (Samantha Schmidt).

That pushed RC in front 38-20, the result of seven dizzying triples in 11 attempts.  The Knights' lead reached 22 points in the second half as Beidleman even found time to drain one from the top of the key.

Vander Veen (15 points) and fellow sophomore Mason Tamerling (12) combined for half of the team's 3"s.

Beidleman's parents both played for RC in the late 1980s and mother Rebecca was part of a state title team in '88. It's only one of many examples on a roster full of sons and coaches who continued the RC legacy that was established by their moms and dads and grandparents. That said, it's Beidleman who's the hub of all things RC in 2024.

“It was an average game for him. As good as he looks, he’s better than that,” Hofman praised.  “Other teams can’t do what they’re used to. He changes the game…He’s the anchor.”

Futures, a public charter school with an enrollment of more than 450,  has emerged under coach Andrew Lincoln after it won only nine games two years ago. The sixth-seeded Knights, who had won 18 straight, were led by junior Daniel Kozlov with 23 points.

Hofman said he doesn’t know where the CIF will place his team in the upcoming NorCal Regionals. There is a chance the Knights could be moved up to Division IV.

 Regardless, they will be a tough out. They’ve got Beidleman, perimeter shooters and enough pedigree to fill any bracket.

The Ripon Christian Knights celebrate after winning their 13th Sac-Joaquin Section title (Samantha Schmidt).


Ripon Christian 67 Futures 47

Futures                        8-12-11-16---47

Ripon Christian       16-22-12-17---67

Futures (26-6)—Daniel Kozlov 23, EJ George 9, Keylen Garth 6, Deonta Dorrough 5, Daniel Morar 2, Ivan Blyshchyk 2. Totals 19 5-13 47.

Ripon Christian (24-6)—Jace Beidleman 18, Luke Crivello 15, Jake Vander Veen 15, Mason Tameling 12, Amos Cady 3, Trey Van Groningen 2, Walker Postma 2. Totals 28 1-6 67.

3-Pt Goals—Futures 4 (Kozlov 3, Dorrough), RC 10 (Tameling 4, Crivello 3, Cady, Beidleman,  Vander Veen). Team Fouls – Futures 12, RC 13. Fouled Out –No one. FG %--Futures 19-58 (33 %), RC 28-54 (52 %). Rebounds—Futures 31 (George 9), RC 40 (Beidleman 18). Turnovers—Futures 9, RC 15. Assists—Futures 9, RC 20.