It has been nearly two calendar years since the Oakdale varsity boys basketball team won a Valley Oak League game. Their last league victory came on Feb. 11, 2015 under then-head coach Jeremy Fields. Since the team has gone 0-23 in VOL play; however, that streak came to an end in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, Jan. 25 with a 69-65 double overtime home win over East Union.
Oakdale opened the game on an 8-0 run and would maintain a lead until there was just 4:14 left in regulation when East Union took their first lead in the game, going up 46-44. East Union’s lead was short lived as Jace Krick tied it up with a jumper with 3:38 left in regulation. The final minutes of regulation came down to who could make free throws. With 2:04 left Krick made a pair of free throws giving Oakdale a 49-46 advantage. One minute later, the Mustangs’ Blake Whiting connected on a pair of free throws to make it 51-48 with 1:04 left. Oakdale’s Nick Woody split free throws with 32.6 seconds left to give Oakdale a 52-51 advantage. East Union regained the lead 53-52 following a pair of made free throws with 26.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Whiting spilt his free throws with 25.9 seconds left tying the game at 53, and that would be the score heading into the first overtime period.
The seesaw battle would continue in the first overtime period. Jordan Kraude’s heads up play tied the game at 55 as the junior pulled down an offensive rebound and laid it up with 2:49 remaining in the first overtime. Free throws continued to be crucial for both teams down the stretch. Whiting connected on a pair of free throws to once again tie the game with 40.8 and Woody split his free throws with 12.7 to give Oakdale a 58-57 advantage. With 0.01 left East Union had an opportunity to win the game at the free throw line but split the free throws tying the game at 58 and forcing the second OT period.
The Mustangs started the second overtime off with an around the back handoff from Krick to Woody who laid it up uncontested for the first points of the second overtime period. Krick then connected on a jumper with 1:41 left to give Oakdale a 62-58 advantage. Woody put the game out of reach with a reverse layup with 1:03 left. The large crowd on hand rejoiced and burst into cheers as the final horn sounded. In the win Woody scored 18, Whiting scored 14 and Krick added 10, giving the Mustangs three players in double figures.
“One thing our coaches harp on us is to bring a tough defensive presence every night. Having that said we wanted to force turnovers and go after loose balls. Tonight I think we did that,” Ty Fuentes said, the player contributing four steals and three rebounds.
“It’s a big step for us, our motto is ‘Build The Foundation’ and I think the boys laid a few bricks in the foundation tonight,” an ecstatic head coach Hondo Arpoika said following the game. “We just kept banging the hammer tonight, very proud of these boys tonight. They grinded all four quarters and both overtimes. They played great on all ends of the court tonight and their efforts paid off.”
Oakdale did play one other game this week but came up on the wrong side of the scoreboard with a 74-27 road loss on Saturday to Central Catholic. Oakdale will play host to Weston Ranch on Wednesday, Feb. 1 with tip off scheduled for 7 p.m.
Josh Foreman scored 23 points for Oakdale in a losing effort, 50-43, to East Union.
No freshman scores were reported as of The Leader’s press time.