With nearly standing room only at the Oakdale High School gym following the crowning of the Winter Homecoming 2016 royalty, the varsity Mustangs (1-18, 0-6) hit the court. Hosting the Lancers of East Union (10-8, 2-4), Oakdale was searching for their first Valley Oak League victory of the season. After a promising start to the game, Oakdale’s confidence and offense both seemed out of sync as the Mustangs fell 70-43 to drop to 0-6 in league play.
Down 6-2 with 5:35 left in the first quarter, junior guard Dallon Barfield knocked down a three to pull the Mustangs within one. Barfield once again got the large crowd to its collective feet on a baseline layup to give Oakdale their first lead of the evening 9-8 with 1:54 left in the opening quarter. Barfield scored five of his 11 points in the first quarter for Oakdale. The Lancers answered back with a 6-0 run to end the quarter.
Oakdale’s high energy style of play continued early in the second quarter as senior utility player Adam Olsen crashed in the lane for the rebound and put back to trim the lead down to 14-11 with 6:23 remaining in the half. Down 26-13, Barfield rattled in two free throws to bring the Lancers lead down to 11 with 4:01 left in the first half.
A spark of offense came off the Oakdale bench as senior forward Mitch McDonald scored a Mustang high 14 points, scoring seven of them in the first half. McDonald earned applause from the crowd with his aggressive play on both sides of the court, including completing a three point play after slashing through the lane and making a layup while being fouled with 1:41 left in the half. The Mustangs were outscored 25-13 in the second quarter, entering the half down 39-22.
The visiting Lancers opened the second half on a 10-0 run to build up a 49-22 lead that came to an end when McDonald cashed in on a pair of free throws with 3:46 left in the third quarter. With 1:18 left in the third quarter, Mustang Nick Woody attacked the rim on a reverse finger roll layup and was fouled looking to complete a three point play. Woody would miss the free throw, but Stanley Thomas pulled down the offensive rebound and passed it to Blake Whiting at the top of the key and Whiting hit the three to close the gap to 54-32. Thomas led the team in rebounds with five on the evening. Oakdale found themselves in a 57-32 hole to end the third quarter.
The Mustangs nearly matched East Union bucket for bucket in the fourth quarter, being outscored 13-11 in the final eight minutes of action. The Mustangs’ lone highlight in the final quarter came on a Whiting steal and fast break layup with 3:51 left in the game.
“Homecoming (for me) is the best night to play basketball. We have most of our fans throughout the community in the gym and we want to put on a good game for them. It makes you feel so pumped up to play, but when you play like the way we did tonight, it’s demoralizing,” Woody said of his disappointment in not giving the homecoming crowd a victory.
Woody finished with four points on the evening.
Oakdale hosted Sierra (11-7, 2-4) on Monday night, Jan. 25 after The Leader’s press time. Oakdale hosts Lathrop (10-9, 3-3) on Wednesday, Jan. 27 with tipoff at 7:15 p.m. and they finish the week at Central Catholic (15-3, 4-2) on Friday night, Jan. 29 with a 7:15 p.m. tipoff.
The JV Mustangs hosted East Union on Thursday, Jan. 21 and could not keep pace with the visitors. Oakdale (0-6) fell 60-38 in front of the home crowd. Oakdale had 12 different players score in the effort, led by sophomore Mikai Harris who had six points for the Mustangs. Oakdale hosted Lathrop on Monday, Jan. 25 following The Leader press time. The team heads to Modesto on Thursday, Jan. 28 to take on Central Catholic at 5:45 p.m.
Oakdale’s youngest basketball team continues to search for their first league victory after falling to visiting East Union 56-21 on Thursday, Jan. 21. Oakdale was led by A.J. Martinez with six points, while Evan Bush and Jeff Crowley each added five for Oakdale. Like the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams, the freshman team hosted Sierra on Monday, Jan. 25 following The Leader’s press time. Oakdale heads to Modesto to play the Raiders of Central Catholic on Thursday, Jan. 28 with tipoff at 4:15 p.m.