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Buffs bounce back with blowout of Oakdale

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Buffs bounce back with blowout of Oakdale

LaRon Bennett feeds Nick Scheible in the post Friday night at Winter Gym where the Buffaloes flattened Oakdale, 76-43.

BRANDON PETERSEN/The Bulletin


POSTED January 31, 2009 5:22 a.m.
Coming off its first loss of the Valley Oak League campaign and heading into a monster week, it was important for Manteca High to shut down last-place Oakdale Friday night at Winter Gym.

And that’s exactly what the Buffaloes did, 76-43.

The usual suspects did what they do for head coach Dave Asuncion early, but in a second half that was nothing more than a formality, a few names that don’t often enjoy a lot of ink had a chance to shine, as well.
Kiwi Gardner finished with 12 points, all in the second half, and spent the first 16 minutes running the point with precision, turning in eight assists, five alone in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Nick Scheible and Ernie Pimentel handled the bulk of the scoring duties, dropping 15 and 14, respectively.

Dominique Barnes finished with nine.

“Every game is going to matter, especially now,” Asuncion said. “There are league implications every time out, so it’s important that we come out, play well, get better, and do the little things that we harp on. Tonight it was boxing out.”

LaRon Bennett opened the floodgates with a 3-pointer just 25 seconds in and the party rolled from there as the Buffaloes outscored Oakdale 28-6 in the first.

Scheible finished the frame with nine.

“It was important for us to have a good game,” he said. “We needed a confidence boost. We went to Sonora expecting to win and they showed us up. So we needed this one going into a hard week.”

Pimentel got into the act in the second, hitting three straight free throws after being hacked beyond the arc and following them up with a highlight-reel left-handed scoop layup to make it 35-8 with four minutes left in the half.

“We were just focused on executing our plays,” Scheible said. “We knew they were going to run us man, and not many teams run us man, so we were just trying to focus on our man plays.”

Inexplicably, Scheible was left open on more than one jumper and the big man delivered.

“I was surprised, I don’t get many open shots,” Scheible said. “I was happy I knocked them down in the first half.”

The second half belonged to Manteca’s bench and Willie Greenwood took advantage, nailing a pair of treys and finishing with eight points among chants of “MVP, MVP” from an ecstatic Buffalo cheering section.

Jesson Franklin got into the act as well, hitting a 3-pointer that made it 68-33 with five minutes left.

But while it was all fun and games Friday night, the Buffaloes are more than aware of what awaits next week.

Following a contest with an always dangerous Central Valley squad Wednesday, Manteca (7-1 VOL, 18-3) will host Sierra Friday in a much anticipated rematch between the one-loss rivals.

“We know that’s the league championship,” Scheible said. “We’ll be ready.”

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