It was almost a year between league victories for the Oakdale varsity basketball boys. On Feb. 7, 2018 the varsity Mustangs earned a win in the Valley Oak League when they defeated Manteca 64-54. This season has been a roller coaster for the Mustangs. Oakdale started this season off with a 13-0 record in non-league play but then began the Valley Oak League regular season losing eight straight. Their fortunes finally turned when they defeated Sierra 60-38 in front of a crowd of Mustang fans.
That big win came on Tuesday, Jan. 29, just five days after dropping a bad road loss to East Union.
“That was a tough loss, and we wanted to turn it around. The boys responded in a big way, we just have to take it one practice at a time, and one game at a time;” said head coach Hondo Arpoika.
Oakdale (15-11, 1-9) had the lead throughout the game and got a 32-point effort from freshman guard Kobe Nunes to help power them past the Timberwolves (15-9, 3-7).
“We really wanted to come out here tonight and win this game, it’s not about stats; we just wanted to win,” said Nunes following the game.
In the first half, Nunes made his presence felt early and often. He knocked down a buzzer beater in the first quarter, and made a pair of free throws late in the half to give Oakdale a 26-16 lead. He scored 13 of his 32 in the first half.
The Mustangs gave Sierra fits on both ends of the court as the visitors did not score their first field goal of the third quarter until the final three minutes and were down 40-25 after three quarters of play.
With less than five minutes remaining in the game Sierra was hit with two technical fouls resulting in an eight point swing that gave Oakdale a 16-point advantage. John Foreman and Jonah Norman also hit double digits for Oakdale as Foreman scored a dozen and Norman added 10.
“This was a good night for all of us, and we worked hard during practice the last few days. We did not want to lose like we did against East Union again,” said Foreman.
Following the win Oakdale tried to keep their momentum going but ran into first place Weston Ranch on Saturday, Feb. 2 in Stockton. The Cougars (25-1, 10-0) won the game 66-47. Foreman scored 20 points in the road loss.
On Tuesday, Feb. 5 the team hosted Kimball (13-13, 4-7) following The Leader’s press time. This Friday night, Oakdale will host Central Catholic (18-8, 8-2) for Senior Night. That night, Oakdale will honor their five senior players: Foreman, Jeff Crawley, Wyatt Waterworth, Evan Brush and Sam Medlin.
Two games, two wins for the junior varsity team. Oakdale started out the successful week by defeating Sierra 47-40. Jason Rawe scored 19 points. Kaleb McDonald added 10 points and Carson Cripe scored seven for Oakdale in the win. On Saturday afternoon, Oakdale squeaked past the Weston Ranch Cougars on the road, 50-49.
Much like the junior varsity, Oakdale’s freshmen capped off the week with two straight wins. The squad defeated Sierra 48-29 as Johnny Kraude scored a game high 14 points and Jackson Holt added 10. Saturday, the Mustangs went to Weston Ranch and earned a 60-46 road win.