A pair of tough matchups gave the Oakdale High School varsity boys basketball team their latest struggles. Oakdale (11-11, 0-7) dropped their sixth and seventh consecutive Valley Oak League games after losing to both Kimball (10-3, 2-5) and East Union (13-10, 4-3).
On Wednesday, Jan. 22 the team hosted Kimball in a back-and-forth battle. After trailing 13-12 to end the first quarter Oakdale took a 27-25 halftime lead. The slugfest continued when Kimball and Oakdale entered the fourth quarter tied at 40. The Mustangs led by one with 26 seconds remaining but could not score in the final seconds resulting in the heartbreaking 53-52 loss.
“We had opportunities but couldn’t score in the final seconds,” said coach Hondo Arpoika.
Jonah Norman had 21 points for Oakdale and Kobe Nunes added 15 points. Nathan Criswell was the team’s third leading scorer with six. A total of seven Mustang players scored.
Friday night was Winter Homecoming for the Mustangs and a packed gym saw the Oakdale squad take on East Union. Oakdale got out to a fast start as they led 5-0 in the opening minutes. East Union regrouped and went on a 16-5 run to go up 16-10 early in the second quarter. The Mustangs trailed 23-16 at halftime. In the second half East Union pulled away, building up a double-digit lead to put away the Mustangs 55-37.
This week Oakdale will travel to Manteca to take on the Buffaloes. Manteca (10-13, 3-4) defeated the Mustangs earlier this month 59-38. The game is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29 with a 7 p.m. tipoff. Friday night the boys return to the home gym as they take on Weston Ranch for a 7 p.m. start time. Weston Ranch (12-10, 5-1) is in second place in the Valley Oak League and defeated the Mustangs 91-45 two weeks ago.
The junior varsity basketball program earned a pair of league wins this past week as they defeated Kimball 39-30 and edged East Union 58-53. In the home win over East Union the game would go back-and-forth but behind Brecken Campbell’s 20 points the Mustangs escaped with the win over the Lancers. Campbell connected on five three-point field goals. Oakdale is now 17-5 overall on the season and are tied for second place in the Valley Oak League with a 5-2 record against league teams.
For the freshman team, it was a split week. Oakdale dropped a contest to Kimball 49-41. The Jaguars are undefeated and are on top of the standings. The youngest Mustangs played them tough behind Niko Klose’s 15 points and Mick Merzon added 11. Oakdale bounced back with a 59-46 win over East Union. Oakdale had three players score in double digits; Merzon (20), Klose (15) and Ian Geisler (10). Oakdale currently has a 4-3 league record.