After starting the season off 13-0, the Oakdale High School varsity boys hoopsters have hit a bump in the road. The Mustangs lost their final two games of the Oakdale Rotary Classic during the holidays and then dropped their first two games of Valley Oak League (VOL) action.
Oakdale hosted East Union (10-9, 1-2) and Manteca (12-6, 1-1) and came out on the wrong side of the scoreboard in each of those contests. In the regular season opener, the Mustangs (13-4, 0-2) fell to the visiting Lancers 55-53 and then got trampled by the Buffaloes 60-44.
Wednesday night, Jan. 2 the Mustangs tipped off the season against the Lancers and played well. Oakdale had a three point advantage at halftime and also going into the fourth quarter. The Mustangs fell behind 6-0 early but back-to-back three point field goals by senior Jeff Crawley tied the game at six with 4:45 remaining in the first quarter. Oakdale took a 14-11 lead to end the first quarter. The see-saw battle continued and freshman guard Kobe Nunes tied the game at 21 with 2:03 left to play in the half. Nunes had a team high 11 points at halftime. With less than 32 seconds to play in the half, Crawley added his third three-pointer of the half and gave Oakdale a 24-21 advantage.
In the third quarter, senior center Sam Medlin got the crowd on their feet with a vicious dunk to give Oakdale a 32-24 lead with 4:47 remaining in the quarter. The Mustangs went up 36-27 on a fast break layup by John Foreman with 2:17 remaining in the third, but East Union closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to set up a 36-33 fourth quarter.
Nunes launched a three pointer field goal to make it 47-44 Oakdale with 3:22 left in regulation as the tight battle continued. East Union regained the lead with back-to-back three’s to go up 50-47 with 2:27 left to play. Michael Echavarria knocked down a jumper to bring it within one, down 52-51 with 47.3 left. A Medlin layup seconds later gave Oakdale a 53-52 advantage. East Union did not fold, as they got a rebound with seven seconds left and the Lancers’ Marcus Sequeira drained a long three as the horn sounded and Oakdale left the court in disbelief.
Two nights later Oakdale welcomed the Buffaloes but the host Mustangs couldn’t get on track and trailed the majority of the night. They fell behind early and could not find a rhythm that night. The Mustangs trailed by 15 at halftime (32-17). Nunes led the team with 16 points and Medlin scored 11.
Oakdale hits the road this week when they take on Sierra (14-2, 2-0) on Thursday night, Jan. 10 in Manteca. Sierra has won nine straight games. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. This will be the team’s lone VOL game of the week but they will also play on the road Friday night against Riverbank (7-6, 1-1) in non-conference play. Tipoff for the Riverbank game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
The OHS junior varsity team split VOL action this week. The squad had a 43-40 home loss to East Union and a 57-52 home win over Manteca. In their loss to East Union, Oakdale opened up the game on an 11-0 run, holding the team to no first quarter field goals and just one point. The Lancers woke up and opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run and Oakdale went into halftime up 19-18. Oakdale trailed 29-26 at the end of the third quarter. Dom Antinetti connected on a three ball to tie the game at 29 with 6:43 left in the game. Clutch free throws down the stretch by Kaleb McDonald had the game tied at 33 with 3:28 left to play. McDonald once again tied the game on a fast break layup with 1:20 left to play (37-37). Jason Rawe’s offensive rebound and putback tied the game once again at 40 with 37.6 seconds left to play. Rawe had a team high 12 points. Oakdale fell just short in the game as East Union took the lead on a three ball with less than four seconds left.
Two nights later another thrilling finish was in store for Oakdale. The JV boys rallied from down double digits to earn the hard fought win. Down the entire game, Rawe connected on a jumper to tie the game at 30 with 2:36 left in the third, it was the first tie of the game since tipoff. Oakdale found themselves down by five entering the fourth quarter. Zach Aloisio tied the game at 37 with 6:31 left to play and Antinetti connected on a long three point field goal, giving the Mustangs their first lead at 40-39 with 6:02 left to play in the fourth quarter. Jake Kettering tied the game again minutes later on free throws making it 49-49 and McDonald once again made clutch free throws to help power Oakdale to the win. Oakdale will play Sierra on the road Thursday night and Riverbank on Friday.
A pair of wins in VOL action has Oakdale’s youngest basketball boys at 2-0 to start league play. Oakdale defeated East Union 47-43 and Manteca 49-45 in overtime. The freshmen entered the half down by 13 against Manteca but turned defense into offense in the second half. The young Mustangs chipped away at the deficit and found themselves down by six entering the fourth. Johnny Kraude led the team with 11 points and Jackson Holt added eight points.