Vince Thompson sent Oakdale High’s varsity boys basketball team into another tournament championship game with another last-minute three-pointer in the semi-finals, but Oakdale couldn’t stop a soaring Riverbank in the series finale on Thursday.
The Mustangs (9-3) watched a late rally send the Bruins (11-1) to a 62-50 championship win in the final game of the eight-team Oakdale Rotary Classic.
Oakdale had ousted Hughson on Tuesday, Dec. 28 to open tourney play, and edged Los Banos 52-50 the next day in overtime to see Riverbank in front of a packed home crowd on Thursday for the title.
“I have to hand it to (Oakdale coach Jeremy Fields),” Riverbank coach Jeff Jennings said. “As prepared as they were and as well as they executed is a credit to him considering he didn’t have a lot of those players while their football team played late into last year.”
Oakdale was down just two points with under four minutes to play, but couldn’t stop a barrage of Bruin offensive rebounds, fast breaks and three-pointers late in the final period.
Jake Martinez scored 16 points in the loss while Vince Thompson added six.
Thompson had drained one of his six three-pointers the day prior to send Oakdale into an overtime period against Los Banos. Thompson (22 points) sank two free throws in overtime and saw one each from Martinez and Vince Fauria in the extra four-minute session. Blake Thompson also scored 11 points in the win, while Martinez chipped in nine and Justin Martinez seven.
With just three preseason losses, Oakdale is in good position to qualify for playoffs if it can post a strong winning record through a tough run of Valley Oak League games.
Weston Ranch (9-2) has been dominant in preseason play, while Sierra (9-3) has lost just once in their last 10 contests and finished first in the Columbia Tournament.
Oakdale hosts Weston Ranch today, Jan. 5 in a key VOL opener at 7:15 p.m. The Cougars are led by six-foot, four-inch sophomore guard Dylan Alexander, who is averaging nearly 20 points and over five rebounds a game thus far. He matched a season high 27 points in a 92-68 shellacking of Enochs on Dec. 21.
Weston Ranch’s only losses are to Division 1 West (11-3) and McNair (10-4).