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Oakdale Sports Squads Busy With VOL Competition
Celebrating a hard fought victory on the road, Oakdale’s varsity Mustang basketball players came home with a 48-45 win against Sierra on Jan. 7. Seniors Jackson Holt, back right, and Jake Kettering, foreground, enjoy the moment in different ways as the final buzzer sounds, with sophomore teammate Jayden Coelho, 23, looking on. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

It was a thrilling win on the road for the varsity Oakdale Mustangs, getting the better of host Sierra on the hardwood in boys basketball action Friday, Jan. 7.

Oakdale, though trailing 23-21 at the half, outscored Sierra 18-13 in the third quarter, and tied 9-9 in the fourth to escape with the 48-45 victory.

Jackson Holt had a monster night for his team with 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way; Landon Nunes contributed eight points while Jake Kettering and Johnathan Kraude notched seven points apiece, Kettering with a pair of treys and Kraude with one from beyond the arc. Nate Criswell was key as well, with six points and 10 rebounds.

It was a 34-29 win for the JV boys against the Timberwolves, with the freshmen falling by a 49-24 decision in the league contest.


Manteca 50, Oakdale 26

The varsity boys were flat against the visiting Manteca Buffaloes on Wednesday, Jan. 5, falling 50-26. The larger and faster Buffaloes worked the ball deftly and employed a stingy defense to stymie many Mustang inside scoring attempts and hold the Mustangs to just two points in the first period and only five in the second as they stormed to a 29-7 lead at the half. The Mustangs showed life in the third quarter behind Kettering (4 points), Kraude (4 points), Criswell (11 points), and the three point shooting of Nunes (7 points), outscoring the Buffaloes 11-9 in that stanza. Regardless, it was too little, too late as the Buffaloes maintained a 20-point lead after three quarters. The Buffaloes came back strong in the final period, outscoring the Mustangs 12-8 to seal the victory.

For the JV boys, it was a 54-28 loss to the Buffaloes and the score was similar for the freshmen, as Oakdale fell 55-28.


Weston Ranch 88, Oakdale 83 (OT)

After playing arguably their best half of basketball to date this season, the Oakdale varsity boys dropped an overtime thriller to the Weston Ranch Cougars in the Mustang Arena on Jan. 4. Behind 38-28 at halftime in front of a sparse but boisterous crowd, it appeared that this game would evolve into what had become the norm against Weston Ranch in the past few years, namely a Cougar blowout of the Mustangs. The Mustangs of head coach Ryan Berg had different ideas, however, and came out firing in the second half, deftly moving the ball on offense and playing tough, stingy defense, and outscoring the Cougars 21-19 in the third quarter and 27-19 in the exciting fourth period to tie the score at 76 apiece at the end of regulation. After falling behind by four in the 4-minute overtime period, the Mustangs were forced to foul, sending the Cougars, led by the game’s high scorer, Elijah Mobley, to the charity stripe, where they converted most of their free throws. The Mustangs were in the game until the final minute of overtime, led by Kraude and Criswell. The difference, however, was that the Mustangs failed to convert most of their free throws in overtime.

Criswell’s tough play and precise shooting inside was complemented by the excellent rebounding and inside scoring of Holt, the hustle and deft three-point shooting of Nunes, and the outstanding ball-handling and scoring by Kraude, who finished with four three-pointers and 23 total points.

The JV Oakdale boys were 58-34 winners while the freshmen fell by a point, 31-30, in action against the Cougars.



The varsity Lady Mustangs battled in a weekend game, hosting Sierra on Saturday, Jan. 8 but ultimately falling by a 47-35 final. Sierra built up a 28-16 halftime lead, with a 12-8 run in the first, 16-8 in the second. Oakdale came back with a strong effort in the second half, matching Sierra point for point as each team scored 19 over the final two frames, but the Lady Mustangs could not whittle down the lead.

Earlier, they closed out the calendar year with some tournament action, defeating Downey 34-33 on Dec. 28, topping Golden Valley 25-17 on Dec. 29 and falling to Mission San Jose of Fremont on Dec. 30 by a 59-18 verdict.

The girls were scheduled to host Kimball in Valley Oak League action on Tuesday, Jan. 11 after The Leader went to press.



Valley Oak League action for the Mustang soccer squads saw the varsity boys notch a 3-0 win over Kimball on Jan. 5 while falling in a tough one, 5-4, to Sierra on Jan. 7.

Ryan Krause had a pair of goals and Angel Pineda put in one to lead the offense in the Wednesday road victory over the Jaguars. Friday action against the Timberwolves saw Krause again with a pair of goals and teammate Joel Gonzalez had a pair of assists as the boys fell a goal short against Sierra.

The JV boys fell by a 6-1 final to Sierra.

Oakdale’s varsity Lady Mustangs lost by a 4-0 final against Central Catholic on Jan. 4 and lost 4-2 to Sierra on Monday, Jan. 10. They are scheduled to be at home to host East Union on Thursday. Jan. 13.

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Going up to lay in the ball is varsity Lady Mustang Aidyn Hill, shown in action during a Valley Oak League contest against Sierra on Saturday, Jan. 8. Jeff Kettering/The Leader
Junior varsity player Charlie Kjeldgaard battles his way toward the hoop during a recent home game against Manteca. Jeff Kettering/The Leader