If games were 31 minutes and 58 seconds long instead of 32 minutes; the Oakdale freshman boys basketball team would have defeated the Central Catholic Raiders on Thursday afternoon. On the final day of the 22nd Grace Davis Holiday Tournament, Oakdale and Central Catholic squared off where the winner would finish the tournament in third place. This was the second consecutive year that Oakdale would be in the third place game. However, unlike last season, Oakdale did not finish third as they fell 48-47 to the Raiders.
Oakdale led the entire game, but could not close it out and gave up a layup with exactly two seconds on the game clock. Oakdale started the game off aggressive, opening up on a 13-0 run. Scoring the team’s first eight points was Robert Silva. He finished with a team high 14 points for Oakdale.
The two Valley Oak League teams exchanged baskets in the second quarter with each team scoring eight points, so Oakdale went into the break, up 28-17. Central Catholic outscored Oakdale 17-10 in the third quarter, cutting Oakdale’s once large lead down to 38-34. Oakdale led 43-41 with 3:24 left in regulation. A pair of free throws by Silva gave Oakdale a 47-41 lead with just over two minutes to play.
The Raiders closed the gap to within one with 44.7 seconds left and had the ball. A rebound by Tanner Cusano gave the Mustangs the ball back. Cusano finished the game with eight rebounds. However, the Mustangs struggled down the stretch to make their free throws. During the final 90 seconds of the contest, Oakdale went 0-6 from the line and had three turnovers. The Raiders capitalized on the miscues and escaped with the come from behind win.
Oakdale opened the tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 26 against Beyer where Oakdale lost 38-34 in overtime but defeated Pitman 48-39 on Wednesday, Dec. 27. This was an eight team tournament that featured Oakdale, Central Catholic, Riverbank, Beyer, Turlock, Pitman, Central Valley and Grace Davis.
Valley Oak League action tips off this week when Oakdale travels to Tracy to take on Kimball on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 4 p.m. The home opener is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 5 against Weston Ranch with a 4 p.m. start time.