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Mustang varsity boys win one, drop two in Rotary Tournament
Basketball action
VAR BOYD
Oakdale’s Bryson Boyd goes up to get a shot off against Bret Harte in opening round action of the Oakdale Rotary Classic; he was named to the All-Tournament Team for the Mustangs, who went 1-2 in the tourney.

Leader Photos By Jeff Kettering

The annual Oakdale Rotary Club Holiday Classic came to an end on Friday, Dec. 29. The host team Oakdale went 1-2 in the tournament and finished in sixth place overall. Gregori was crowned the tournament champion, winning the final over Ripon Christian.

The Mustangs began the tournament with the night cap contest on night one, which was Wednesday, Dec. 27. Oakdale took on Bret Harte in the opening round. Bret Harte knocked off the host Mustangs in a tight contest, 62-60. Oakdale trailed 31-27 at the half. The Bullfrogs appeared to be pulling away from the Mustangs as they led 52-38 with 1:49 remaining in the third quarter.

But Oakdale battled back, and Gavin Wyatt connected on a three ball from the corner to bring Oakdale to within a 53-52 deficit with 3:31 remaining in the contest. Oakdale could not complete the rally, despite having a 19-point effort from Noah Zepeda in the game. Bryson Boyd had 14 and Wyatt added nine.

The following night Oakdale took on Stagg of Stockton. They started off strong having four of five starters scoring in the first quarter and the Mustangs went on to defeat Stagg, 60-50. In the first quarter, Wyatt had seven points as Oakdale built up a 19-11 lead. Declan Hynes connected on a three-point basket at the buzzer to end the half with the Mustangs going into the break up by a 32-19 margin. Buzzer beaters were the theme of the night for Oakdale as Wyatt connected on buzzer beater to end the third quarter as the Mustangs went up 47-29. Boyd led the team with 20 points in the victory; Zepeda scored 13 and Wyatt had a dozen points.

In the consolation game to settle the fifth and sixth place slots, Oakdale clashed with Escalon. Things got out of hand in the second quarter for the Mustangs as they were outscored 24-6 by the Cougars. Down 34-17 at the half, Oakdale bounced back in the second half by outscoring Escalon 15-5 in the third quarter. Bryce Busam scored on a three-point ball to start the quarter for the Mustangs. Wyatt connected on a pair of free throws to bring the Mustangs to within five points with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Zepeda got the home crowd on their feet when he connected on at three-point basket with 31.6 left in the third quarter. The Mustangs continued to battle in the fourth quarter. Zepeda slashed his way through the lane for a basket to bring Oakdale within a 43-39 deficit with 3:47 left to play. Escalon pulled away down the stretch to secure the 52-46 victory.

Zepeda scored a team high 14 points. Boyd added 13. All eight Mustangs scored for Oakdale in the game.

Bryson Boyd was named to the All-Tournament Team for Oakdale.

This week Oakdale will tip off the new year in Valley Oak League play on Friday, Jan. 5 at home against Manteca. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Oakdale’s JV boys went 1-3 in the holiday Rotary tournament; specific game info was not available from coaches.

JV JONES
In action against Bret Harte, JV player Niki Jones sends the ball toward the basket as the team played in the holiday Oakdale Rotary Classic. The JV boys won one and lost two during the three-day tournament.
VAR ZEPEDA
Noah Zepeda drives in against the Bret Harte defender as the teams clashed in the Oakdale Rotary Classic. Oakdale’s varsity won one and lost two, settling for sixth place overall in the tournament.