Tipoff for boys basketball happened this past week. On Thursday night, April 22 the Oakdale Mustangs varsity team traveled to Ripon to face the Ripon Christian Knights in the season opener. Oakdale had a 28-26 halftime lead but was outscored 32-20 in the second half to make it a 58-48 home win for Ripon Christian. In a losing effort, three Mustangs scored in double digits. Johnathan Kraude scored 14 points, Jonah Norman scored 11 and Tanner Cusano added 10 points and a dozen rebounds. Kraude connected on four of his five three-point field goal attempts.
The next night, Oakdale regrouped and came out on top 61-57. In the first quarter Oakdale came out flat and found themselves in foul trouble early as they committed five personal fouls in the opening minutes. Oakdale was outscored 20-15 in the first quarter but came out motivated throughout the remainder of the game. Norman got the Mustangs bench on its collective feet when he stole the ball and finished with a fast break lay up to trim the Knights lead to 24-22 with 3:02 left in the first half. This sparked a 9-0 Mustangs run. Jake Kettering connected on a long corner three to give Oakdale a 29-28 lead with 1:17 remaining in the half. The closing seconds would continue to be a battle as Kraude connected on three-pointer with 43 seconds left to give Oakdale a 31-30 advantage. The Knights then closed the half on a 5-0 run.
Late in the third quarter, Norman shook the defender with a move to the basket and completed the three-point play at the free throw line to tie the game at 45 with 2:18 remaining. Charles Cripe hit a bucket with just seconds remaining in the quarter to make it a 48-47 deficit at the end of the third quarter. Freshmen Jayden Coehlo hit a long distance three to tie the game at 50 with 6:26 remaining. Kraude also hit a long three to give Oakdale a 55-54 lead with 4:08 remaining. Tanner Cusano powered his way through the lane and hit a floater to make it 59-54 Oakdale with 1:56 left to play in the game. Norman’s steal with less than three seconds left to play put away the Knights. Norman led the team with 18 points and added six rebounds. Kraude scored 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Casano scored 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. This was the first win under new head coach Ryan Berg. Oakdale’s lone game of the week is at home against St. Mary’s on Thursday night with a tipoff scheduled at 7 p.m.
In their season opener, the varsity basketball girls defeated Ripon Christian 56-35. Oakdale came out aggressive on both ends of the floor as they attacked the basket and got to the free throw line early. The Lady Mustangs made six trips to the free throw line in the first half and used the long ball to pull away from the visitors. Amber Robinson hit a three-point shot with less than four seconds left in the half to give Oakdale a 31-22 halftime lead. Alicia Platt led Oakdale with 10 first half points.
In the second half Oakdale’s defense controlled the flow of the game. They forced poor shots by Ripon Christian and held them to just four points in the third quarter. Oakdale took a 38-26 lead to end the third quarter. Oakdale went up by as many as 23 points, including a 20-point advantage with 5:02 left in regulation when Platt connected on a three-point field goal. Savannah Borba put the finishing touches on the game when she stole the ball and finished with a fast break layup on the other end to give Oakdale a 54-33 lead with just over a minute left. Eight different players scored for Oakdale. Taylor Lamb and Aidyn Hill each scored eight points. Elizabeth Webb scored seven.
Oakdale now turns its focus on Weston Ranch as they travel to Stockton on Thursday night to face the Cougars. Friday night the girls host Weston Ranch with a 7 p.m. start time.