It was a frustrating week to say the least for the Oakdale High School varsity boys basketball program.
Winless in Valley Oak League play after putting together a solid preseason campaign, the Mustangs were poised to celebrate that breakthrough VOL win on the road but literally had victory snatched away.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29 the Mustangs (11-13, 0-9) traveled to Manteca (11-13, 4-4) to take on the Buffaloes. The intense battle came down to the very last second but when the dust settled it was Manteca walking off the court with a 52-51 victory.
With the game tied at 51 with 2.8 seconds remaining, the Buffaloes knocked down one free throw to go up 52-51. Oakdale’s Nate Criswell launched the ball from half court and made the basket at the buzzer; however the officials waved the basket off and said the shot left his hand following the horn, resulting in a devastating loss. Criswell finished the night with 16 points. Jonah Norman added 15 points for Oakdale.
“It’s tough, we battled and for it to come down to that, it’s just tough,” said Mustangs coach Hondo Arpoika.
The varsity boys returned home to host the tough Weston Ranch Cougars (14-10, 7-1) on Friday night, Jan. 31 but could not hang with the Valley Oak League juggernaut as the visitors clawed past Oakdale with a 67-38 win. In the loss Norman had 13 points, including nine in the first quarter, which were all of Oakdale’s first quarter points. Weston Ranch’s Donjae Lindsey scored 20 points, including 17 in the first half. The Cougars had three players score in double digits to complete the season sweep of Oakdale.
This was Oakdale’s final home game of the regular season and was Senior Night as well.
The Mustangs have three games remaining in the 2019-2020 season. This Friday night, Feb. 7 the boys will travel to Manteca to play Sierra (13-10, 4-5). In early January, Oakdale fell to Sierra 42-36. On Wednesday, Feb. 12 the team heads to Tracy to face Kimball (11-14, 3-6). On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, the boys wrap up the season at Central Catholic (17-7, 8-0) and the Raiders are currently in first place in the Valley Oak League. Tipoff for all games is 7 p.m.
The junior varsity team suffered a 60-53 road loss to Manteca this week. Charlie Cripe connected on four 3-point shots for all 12 of his points. Johnny Wylie had a dozen points as well and Johnathan Kraude had 10.
Friday night the boys hosted Weston Ranch where the visitors came out on top 52-46. Wylie scored 11 points and Kraude added 10 for Oakdale.
In freshman action Oakdale lost to Manteca 58-43. Niko Klose scored a team high 15 points. Mick Merzon also scored in double digits as he contributed 10 points. Two days later the boys defeated Weston Ranch in overtime 57-53. Cooper Pitney connected on a long 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. Pitney finished with 15 points. Klose had 14 points.