It would have been nearly impossible either way after No. 16 Hogan’s season-ending upset of Vallejo, but Oakdale High’s varsity boys basketball team saw their last postseason prayer go unanswered in a 54-38 loss to Sonora in the final game of their season on Friday, Feb. 18.
The Mustangs, who had won the first game after the No. 19 positioning they saw on the Feb. 15 Sac-Joaquin Section power ratings, couldn’t dispatch the No. 14 Wildcats in the Valley Oak League finale.
The loss leaves Oakdale at 6-8 on the league standings (fifth of eight) and just short of the four VOL teams who did reach the postseason.
The team had celebrated an exciting 59-45 rout of Lathrop on Wednesday during Senior Night festivities in the Mustang gym.
The game saw extensive playing time for Oakdale upperclassmen, specifically eight seniors, six of whom have been in the system of Mustang coach Jeremy Fields for four full seasons.
“This senior class was my first to sit down and talk to as freshmen, and it’s going to be hard to see them leave,” Fields said. “It’s a group that has worked very hard and been very battle-tested.”
Daniel Linder, Vince Thompson, Jake Martinez, Blake Thompson, Ryan McLean and Tyler Hopkins represent the six four-year basketballers under Fields’ tutelage.
Linder got into senior night action by slashing through Lathrop’s full court press and downing a season high of 14 points.
“I can always have that last memory of having a good game on this court,” Linder said afterwards. “We had a good team and a good year.”
Hopkins played sharp early and came back with some added fury late in the contest. He made an acrobatic reverse lay-up in the final minutes to finish with three points.
Vince Thompson and Justin Martinez added nine each while Blake Thompson scored seven and Jake Martinez six. Marcus Hernandez and Vince Fauria added three each while Manny Hernandez and Nathan Van Ryn chipped in two apiece.
Oakdale challenged Sonora two days later with a 12-8 lead in the first, but trailed by four at the half and allowed a devastating 18-9 Sonora rally in the final period of play.
Oakdale landed a 53-42 win over Lathrop on the strength of 16 Spencer Thomas points and another 11 from Josh Watts. Michael Adian added eight while Marcus Northcutt scored six points, Devin Donahue five and Gerardo Esparza three.
Oakdale was rolling to finish the season, coming off a 49-42 win over Manteca with a 19-point performance from Thomas, 10 from Northcutt and eight from Donahue.