After a lackluster performance on Tuesday, Jan. 13 against visiting Weston Ranch, the Oakdale varsity basketball boys saddled up and put on their best performance of the young season. Coming off the embarrassing 68-23 home loss against Weston Ranch, Oakdale gathered its first Valley Oak League win of the campaign with a 66-55 home win over East Union on Thursday, Jan. 15.
Things looked grim for the Mustangs entering the game Thursday night, with an 0-3 league record; averaging 31 points per game and being outscored 193-93 over the course of those three games.
Oakdale’s shooting clinic, however, began in the first quarter as they scored 14 points, a season high for points scored in the first quarter. Tied 14-14 after the first, East Union came after the Mustangs with everything they had in the second. The Lancers jumped out to a 22-14 lead with 4:38 remaining in the half, until a hard scoop to the hoop from Oakdale’s Caden Farquer broke up the 8-0 run.
East Union outscored Oakdale 23-9 in the second quarter, a large part of that came from the Lancer ability to knock down the deep ball, connecting on five three-point shots in the quarter.
The Mustangs regrouped at halftime and returned to form in the second half. Oakdale found their stroke early in the third, draining threes of their own. Back-to-back-to-back treys by Octavio Padilla, Nate Van Cleave and Mitch MacDonald forced the Lancers to use a time out, as Oakdale opened the quarter on a 9-2 run. MacDonald was far from finished as he connected on an additional back-to-back three-point shooting spree to bring the Mustangs back into the game, down 38-37 with 3:17 left in the period.
“My teammates set me up for success tonight. They saw me open in the corner and put trust in me to knock down those shots, and that’s what I did,” said MacDonald following the game.
He finished with 16 points and an assist in the varsity victory.
Down 49-47 entering the final frame, Oakdale’s confidence was apparent and they exposed the Lancers on both sides of the court. Shane Baxter took over as he knocked down a pair of threes to start the fourth quarter to give Oakdale a 53-49 lead. Baxter finished with a team high 18 points, and contributed on the defensive side collecting five rebounds and a blocked shot to help the Mustangs.
The Mustangs outscored the Lancers 19-7 in the fourth quarter to claim the victory and end the three game skid.
“It feels good to see our hard work pay off,” said excited Mustangs guard, Robby Bagley after the win.
The win felt good for both players and head coach Jeremy Fields.
“Shots fell tonight. Earlier in the week we were settling for low percentage jump shots and it wasn’t there,” said Fields. “Tonight we hit our jump shots and baskets under the hoop as well.”
Junior forward Nate Van Cleave, who scored nine of his 11 points as the Mustangs took control late, said the key to the win was never losing hope.
“Our morale heading into the game, was surprisingly high for a team that was 0-3. We felt relaxed and watched the junior varsity game in its entirety as a team and that got us in game mode,” the junior noted.
Van Cleave also had six rebounds and two assists in the victory.
Oakdale is faced with three games this week, taking on Lathrop and Manteca on the road, and scheduled to host Sierra on Saturday night, Jan. 24.
Tuesday night Jan. 13 marked the first VOL home game for the JV boys, who got the large crowd on their collective feet during a dramatic 68-65 overtime win for Oakdale over visiting Weston Ranch. Led by sophomore Joseph Lutz’s 22 point effort, including all six of Oakdale’s overtime points, the Mustangs earned the win in a hard fought battle.
“Extremely proud of the kids, all 13 kids. This is by far my favorite group of kids that I’ve coached, and I’ve coached for nine years,” said a proud head coach Steve Mauchley.
The JV squad took the court again on Thursday, Jan. 15 in another dramatic game, but fell short against East Union, 43-40.
Oakdale High School’s youngest group of boy hoopsters took the court against East Union on Thursday night. The team put up 12 points in the first quarter but the Lancers went on a 33-9 run to end the game, resulting in a 56-21 home loss for the frosh Mustangs.