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Varsity Basketball Boys Drop Pair Of VOL Games
Blake Whiting, 4, turned in an impressive stat sheet against Kimball. The senior pulled down four rebounds and added a block on the defensive side of the ball. Whiting also scored four points on the evening. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

The Oakdale boys varsity basketball tipped off Valley Oak League action this past week. With a pair of home league games to start the season, Oakdale fell to both visiting Sierra and Kimball in close games. On Tuesday night, Jan. 3 the boys fell to Sierra 58-47 and followed that up with a heartbreaking 42-37 loss to Kimball on Thursday night.

The boys carried a 20-19 halftime lead against Kimball and had a three point lead heading into the fourth quarter, before being outscored 13-5 in the final frame. Drew Legan got things going for Oakdale as he opened the game with three field goals from beyond the arc to give Oakdale a 9-8 advantage in the second quarter. Legan finished with 14 points, three assists and two rebounds. Jace Krick added eight points, three rebounds and two assists in the loss. Krick got the crowd on their feet as the junior displayed strength and determination under the hoop. Late in the second quarter, Krick pulled down a rebound and went vertical for the putback with three Jaguar defenders in his face. On the next sequence Krick once again overcame a Jaguar triple team in the lane as he made a spinning layup to give Oakdale a 16-10 advantage with less than four minutes to play in the half.

The Mustangs led 32-29 after three quarters. With the game close, tempers flared and frustration began to set in for Oakdale. They watched their once nine-point lead fall to the wayside and with 6:32 remaining, Kimball took the lead following a technical foul on Legan.

“Things were said out of frustration. You know, boys being boys,” Oakdale head coach Hondo Arpoika explained.

With the game tied at 35, Kimball knocked down a long three ball to give the visitors a 38-35 advantage with 3:11 remaining in the game. Krick made his final basket with a layup with 1:47 remaining to trim the lead down to 38-36 but that was as close as the home team would get.

“We fell to the pressure tonight, and we have done that the last few games to be honest. We need to practice better and find ways to close out games,” Arpoika said. “We need to be selfless and trust each other if we are going to win some league games.”

Oakdale also played two non-league games, losing 56-38 against Stagg and 72-42 to Liberty Ranch. The varsity Mustangs have a trio of road games this week, starting with a Tuesday game at Weston Ranch after The Leader went to press. They will travel to East Union on Thursday, Jan. 12 and have a non-league game against Gregori on Monday night, Jan. 16.



Tough times for the young junior varsity squad as Oakdale fell to Kimball on Thursday night, 62-36. The boys also fell to Stagg 45-19 and 60-42 to Liberty Ranch in non-league games this week. The JV Mustangs traveled to Weston Ranch on Tuesday night following The Leader’s press time. Oakdale’s road trip continues with a league game against East Union on Thursday night. The boys return home to take on Lathrop on Tuesday night, Jan. 17, tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

No information was available for the freshman team.