Friday night, Jan. 8 the Lady Mustang varsity basketball girls welcomed Kimball to town. Coming off a 42-28 road loss to Sierra to start their Valley Oak League (VOL) campaign, Oakdale fell short against Kimball (7-8, 1-1) by a 36-32 final to drop to 0-2 in league play and 7-7 overall.
Oakdale led 17-15 at the half in their road game against Sierra before losing by 14 on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Oakdale found themselves in a different situation on Friday night, when the team played from behind most of the night.
Both teams struggled to score in the first quarter as Oakdale’s Allissa Gutierrez came off the bench and scored the Lady Mustangs’ lone points of the first quarter on a jumper with 12.3 seconds left in the frame. Kimball led 4-2 after the first quarter. Down 6-5 in the second quarter, Oakdale’s offense went even colder as Kimball went on a 9-0 run to take a 15-5 advantage that was broken up by a Madison Brewer jumper. The Lady Mustangs trailed 17-7 at the half.
“At the break I had to remind them of a few tactical things and remind them they were not out of this game,” first year varsity coach Julie Ford said.
Oakdale’s offense made a total of just three field goals in the first half, two of which came off the hands of Brewer. She finished with six points and five rebounds for the Lady Mustangs.
Sophomore guard Sarah Bohrer knocked down her first of two third quarter three-pointers to bring Oakdale within nine points with 4:26 left to play in the third. Bohrer led the Lady Mustangs with eight points. She also added two rebounds and a block. Senior center Emery Sipe knocked down a long jumper as the shot clock expired making it a 27-20 contest with 47.8 seconds left in the third. Sipe scored all six of her points in the second half and contributed eight rebounds. Oakdale outscored Kimball 17-10 in the third quarter making it 27-24 Kimball after three. A pair of fourth quarter free throws by senior guard Colleen Ibasco cut the Kimball lead down to 27-26 with 6:02 left in the game. With the game tied at 27, Sipe gave Oakdale their first lead off an offensive rebound and put back with 4:07 left to play. Oakdale’s 10-point second half rally fell short, though, as Kimball outscored the Lady Mustangs 9-2 over the final four-plus minutes.
“I was very proud of the girls’ second half effort. Obviously the first half did not go the way we had anticipated. But to get 25 points in the second half against a very good Kimball team, was big for us,” Ford said following the game.
The Lady Mustangs look to turn things around as they will play three straight VOL road games this week. Wednesday, Jan. 13 Oakdale will take on Weston Ranch, Friday they head to Lathrop and they finish the road trip on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at Manteca. Oakdale returns home to host East Union on Friday, Jan. 22. Tipoff is scheduled at 5:45 p.m.