Three games, three losses for the Oakdale varsity boys basketball team. Oakdale (1-21, 0-9) dropped a trio of Valley Oak League (VOL) games this past week. Their troubles began with a Monday night, Jan. 25 home loss to Sierra (13-8, 4-5) 70-39. Two days later the boys fell to visiting Lathrop (12-10, 5-4) by a 64-34 decision, and finished the week with a disappointing 71-28 road loss to Central Catholic (17-4, 6-3) on Friday night, Jan. 29.
Although the average margin of points per loss this week was nearly 35 points, Oakdale remains competitive on the floor. During their loss to Sierra, Oakdale only trailed by four points heading into the half.
Early in the game, senior forward Mitch McDonald hit a three-pointer to give the Mustangs a 5-4 advantage with 5:07 left in the first quarter. From nearly an identical spot, McDonald knocked down his second three-point shot of the quarter just minutes later to give Oakdale an 8-6 lead with 1:18 left in the opening quarter. Sierra took a 9-8 lead to end the first quarter. Oakdale regained the lead on a swift defensive play by junior Blake Whiting, who came up with a steal and an assist on the same play when Whiting found sophomore Jace Krick under the rim for an uncontested layup to give Oakdale a 10-9 lead. Seconds later Krick connected on a jumper to expand the Mustangs lead to 12-9 with 6:53 remaining in the half. Down by two, McDonald showed his ability to knock down the long range jumper from the left side of the court once again as he connected with his third three-point field goal of the half to give Oakdale a 15-14 lead with 5:42 left in the half. Following a Sierra timeout, the Timberwolves went on a 5-0 run that was broken up by Nick Woody, who battled his way through three blue jerseys in the paint to put up a layup with 1:43 left in the half. Woody continued to contribute on the defensive side of the ball as he pulled down a rebound and earned the assist on the other end when he connected with McDonald, who hit his fourth three-point field goal of the half as the half came to a close. McDonald scored a team high 17 points, 14 of them came in the first half. Oakdale found themselves in a 24-20 halftime deficit.
Oakdale’s second half woes came early when Sierra opened the third quarter on a 16-1 run to take a 40-21 lead. Krick found McDonald under the rim, who completed the three-point play after being fouled and connecting on his free throw attempt with 3:27 remaining in the third. With 16.1 seconds left, McDonald forced his way through blue jerseys for a layup to make the score 48-28. Oakdale was outscored 26-8 in the third quarter, down 50-28 to enter the fourth.
Oakdale’s fourth quarter highlights included a three-point field goal by Dallon Barfield, and a sky hook by center Max Renner. The Mustangs were outscored 20-11 in the final period.
“I think some of our desire just got lost in the second half. I mean, we came into tonight’s game after being demolished in our Homecoming game. We didn’t want that to happen again to us,” Krick said. “So we came out in the first and second quarter shooting the ball well and playing as a unit … somewhere between that point and the third quarter we just lost it.”
Krick finished with eight points, six rebounds, four blocks and an assist for Oakdale.
The Mustangs have five games remaining on the season, three of which will be home games. Oakdale hosts first place Weston Ranch (18-4, 9-0) tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7:15 p.m., then battle on the road at Kimball (8-15, 2-7) on Friday night with tipoff scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
A Monday night melee ensued following the JV boys 66-51 home loss to Sierra in front of the home crowd. After a chippy finish to the game, the officials had to separate the two teams after things got physical, with pushing and stare downs between both ball clubs. After the final horn sounded more madness broke out as the officials, coaches from both sides as well as players began shouting at each other.
“I’m still not 100 percent sure what went down but I like to focus on what happened on the court during the game. I can tell you that the official tried to get loud with me and I was not having it,” said JV coach Donald Muniz.
The Oakdale boys lost to Central Catholic 54-21 on Thursday, Jan. 28. Oakdale’s frosh team will host Weston Ranch today, Wednesday, Feb. 3 with tip off scheduled for 4:15 p.m.