Last season the Lady Mustangs varsity basketball team went 5-22 overall. In just six games, the 2015-2016 team has matched that win total after they put away Hilmar 37-29.
Oakdale hosted Hilmar on Tuesday night, Dec. 15. In the first quarter, senior forward Scarlett Brock overcame a double team effort by the Yellowjackets and found an open Sarah Bohrer across the court. With the shot clock winding down, Bohrer fired a three point shot that found the nylon giving Oakdale a 4-2 advantage with 5:03 remaining in the first quarter. Down 6-4 Brock collected one of her four steals and took it hard to the rim as she was fouled with 32.3 seconds left in the quarter. The low scoring first quarter finished with Hilmar up 6-5.
The Lady Mustangs regained the lead in a second quarter that featured their physicality under the rim. Second chance points played a key role as Brock missed a jumper, but the offensive rebound was hauled in by Micaela Maaske, who put up a shot of her own, but it hit the rim and was pulled down by teammate Bohrer, who could not get the short jumper to fall. Finally, Brock gathered the offensive board and put back to give Oakdale a 10-6 advantage. Brock continued to impress in the first half, as she got the steal and finished with a layup on the other end to extend the Lady Mustangs lead to 12-7 with 4:44 left in the half.
“We have been working hard as a team and tonight was a team effort. Coach Ford has installed a new mentality, a physical presence to us and our play,” Brock said following the game.
Brock finished with five points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists.
The Lady Mustangs finished the second quarter on a 4-0 run as Maaske picked up a loose ball at midcourt and finished the play with a finger roll to give Oakdale a 17-13 halftime lead. Maaske finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and a block.
In a physical third quarter that featured numerous fouls by both sides, Oakdale outscored Hilmar 11-5. Up 32-26 with 1:55 left to play, Colleen Ibasco stole the inbounds pass near the basket and made a quick layup to put the game out of reach. Ibasco finished with four points on the night.
The Lady Mustangs will now be hitting the road this holiday season. Oakdale’s next three games will all be on the road and they will not return home until Saturday night, Jan. 2 when they welcome Atwater for a 2 p.m. contest.
“Tonight’s win was important on many levels. We matched last year’s win total so anything from this point forward is an improvement from last year,” Coach Ford noted. “That’s important because it brings up the girls confidence and they will want to continue to play well.”