The 2016-2017 boys basketball season came to a close on Wednesday, Feb. 15 following a 62-45 road loss to first place Manteca. Oakdale (4-24, 1-13) battled in the first quarter with the unbeaten and league champion Buffaloes (22-5, 14-0) to a 17-14 deficit. The Mustangs trailed 28-21 at the half and could not regroup in the second half as the team was outscored 34-24 over the final 16 minutes.
Although the team’s final record did not indicate success, the team’s hardwood troubles showed improvement as the season went on. On Jan. 25 the team won its first Valley Oak League game of the past couple seasons over East Union (15-12, 7-7) inside the OHS Main Gym 69-65 in a thrilling double overtime marathon. Oakdale took some tough losses this year but also stayed competitive in a number of their games. Prior to that double OT win, Oakdale’s last league win came on Feb. 11, 2015. This season, though, the team lost seven games by 10 points or fewer. Head coach Hondo Arpoika finished his second season three games better overall than last year’s team. Oakdale’s three game improvement and winning a league game is a step in the right direction and only time will tell how the 2017-2018 season will pan out for the team, which graduates eight seniors.
A long season also came to a close for the junior varsity boys. Oakdale fell to Manteca 59-35 to go 0-14 in Valley Oak League action. Sam Medlin played strong for Oakdale with a stat line of four points, seven blocks and nine rebounds in the loss. John Foreman finished with 16 points and four steals. Oakdale went 3-24 overall on the season.
“I feel we somewhat underachieved but due to injuries and players missing games and practices for various reasons, we only had two games in which we had a full roster. This obviously makes it very difficult to make progress,” coach Don Muniz said. “Having that said I really loved the effort we had from all of the players throughout the season and thoroughly enjoyed the coaching staff regardless of our record.”
Oakdale’s youngest basketball boys finished their season with a tough road loss against Manteca, 73-27.