Oakdale’s varsity boys basketball season of struggle came to a close on Wednesday, Feb. 17. The boys headed to East Union for their 2015-2016 season finale. Oakdale (1-26, 0-14) fell to East Union (12-14, 4-10) by a final score of 68-37.
The Mustangs fell behind early and could not find a way to get into the contest. Trailing 14-7 after the first quarter, Oakdale dug themselves into a 28-11 halftime hole. Junior guard Blake Whiting led the Mustangs with six first half points, with fellow junior guard Nick Woody adding three points and Dallon Barfield scoring a first quarter bucket. Woody continued where he left off in the first half, scoring six points in the third quarter. He paced the Mustangs with 11 points overall. Barfield scored five of his seven points in the fourth quarter, while teammate Michael Everett scored all four of his points in the final frame for the Mustangs in the loss.
The varsity boys ended the season winless in the Valley Oak League and finished the season on an 18-game losing streak that began on Dec. 29. The team’s lone victory this season came in the Rotary Classic against Los Banos on Dec. 28 in a 58-44 first round victory in that tournament.
“As a program all teams (varsity, junior varsity and freshman) made progress and now we are at the point where we should start the season. We have a long way to go to close the gap with the league and have a ton of offseason work ahead of us,” first year varsity head coach Hondo Arpoika said. “There will be an enormous amount of personal sacrifice needed to develop skill levels, mental toughness, and we must learn to believe in ourselves. I’m proud of them all for not giving up. It was an adversity filled season, and I’m looking forward to see what progress we can make by next season.”
The boys fell to East Union 80-54 to end the season. Oakdale’s Drew Leagan led the team with 16 points. Jordan Kraude added 11 and right behind him was Andrew Munoz with 10. With the loss Oakdale finished with a 1-13 league record and a 7-20 mark overall. Despite their record, Oakdale did battle through a tough season and even managed to give the top three teams in the VOL a scare.
“We gave two of the top teams in the league (Central Catholic and Manteca) big scares,” head coach Don Muniz said. “We were in a position to win three of those six games we played against Central Catholic and Manteca, the other top team was East Union who beat us twice.”
Like the varsity and junior varsity teams, Oakdale’s youngest team fell to East Union on the road. Oakdale fell 50-22 in their final game of the 2015-2016 campaign.
“It was a learning curve this season for the boys. They never gave up at any point this season, and looking forward to next season, a new group of boys will come in. The junior high school is working with young talent and they look promising for next season,” first year freshman coach Grant Miller said.