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Girls Basketball Makes Brief Return To Postseason
Pulling up under the basket, Halena Hill sizes up her shot in second half action Feb. 12 against Central Catholic. She had 11 points in the Oakdale victory, one of four players in double figures for the varsity girls. Marg Jackson/The Leader

For the first time since 2009, the Oakdale High School varsity girls basketball team punched their ticket to the postseason.

Oakdale took on Patterson in the “play-in” game for the Division III playoffs on Monday evening, Feb. 17. Oakdale, the number 17 seed, had to travel to face off with the number 16 Lady Tigers. It was a short-lived stay in postseason play, the Lady Mustangs coming up short in a 59-35 final, but head coach Julie Ford said that doesn’t detract from what the team was able to accomplish this season.

“I’m so proud of the team’s ability to continually push through adversity and play together. Each victory has been a whole team contribution as every player successfully stepped in in the absence of three of our regular starters,” Ford noted. “Despite their on court success this season, I’m most proud of how well they were able to band together, genuinely happy for one another’s successes and lifting each other up when things were not going well. Being part of a team goes beyond the court, and this team has collaboratively worked to be successful. We’re playoff bound for the first time in over ten years and they certainly deserve it.”

Division III is well represented by Valley Oak League teams as Manteca, East Union, Sierra and Kimball all made the tournament, along with Oakdale having the play in opportunity.

Prior to the playoff game, the regular season ended with a win for the varsity squad. On Thursday evening, Feb. 13 the Lady Mustangs took a 68-47 home game victory over Central Catholic. On the season Oakdale finished with a 16-12 overall record and went 4-8 in Valley Oak League to finish in fifth place.

“Thursday night’s game was a great team win. It started on the defensive end, which sparked an offensive outburst with 26 points in the second quarter,” said Ford.

The season finale featured a complete team effort and four Mustangs scored in double digits. Aidyn Hill scored a game high 16 points in 24 minutes, also adding four assists and four rebounds. Afton Daley and Haylee Campbell each scored a dozen points in the win. Campbell had six rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists in 28 minutes of work. Daley played 29 minutes and had six steals, two rebounds and two assists in the contest. Halena Hill scored 11 points; she found her stroke from beyond the arc connecting on three long balls. Overall everyone who stepped on the court that night wearing a Mustangs jersey scored, said the coach, with Maddy Jones, Jaydn Rau, Tayler Lamb, Savannah Borba and Alexia Martin all contributing in the contest.

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday night, Feb. 11 the girls suffered a 79-38 home loss to Kimball. Aidyn Hill scored 10 points and had six rebounds in the loss.



The regular season came to a close for both the junior varsity and freshman teams as well. The junior varsity finished with an 18-9 overall record, 7-5 in VOL. Oakdale finished out their season with a pair of victories over Kimball and Central Catholic. Oakdale edged Kimball 49-46 behind a huge performance by Kassidy Fmura. She had 22 rebounds and 21 points. Jennifer Castro had 10 points with three steals and three assists. Alivia Antinetti added seven points and six assists. The season came to a close with a 57-22 win over the Raiders. Castro had 15 points, six steals and three assists. Kennedy Jones scored a dozen points. Fmura scored 10 points and had six rebounds.

For the freshman team they finished with 12-13 overall record, going 3-7 in league play. Oakdale lost to Kimball 50-29 in their season finale on Feb. 11 in their only game of the week; Central Catholic did not field a freshman team this season.