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Offense sputters for Buffs in loss to Modesto

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POSTED December 3, 2010 3:03 a.m.
For the second straight night, Manteca High’s boys basketball team didn’t get off to a good start, but this had nothing to do with lazy defense or a cold-shooting offense.

One starter was benched before tipoff for missing the team’s mandatory walkthrough, and another gift-wrapped two free points via technical free throws to Modesto City Classic co-host Modesto High for dunking during pregame warm-ups.

Ultimately, neither was the cause for the Buffaloes’ 65-53 loss Thursday.

The culprits were a poor shooting night from the free-throw stripe (6-for-14), an anemic second-quarter effort that resulted in just five points and Modesto mighty-mite Ezekiel Batt — who torched Manteca for 27 points.

 Making matters worse, Manteca (1-1) relied on three players to account for all but seven of its total points.

It turns out Manteca won’t successfully defend its 2009 Modesto City Classic crown. In another winner’s-bracket quarterfinal contest, Bullard defeated Downey, the Buffaloes’ next opponent today at 5 p.m.

“Modesto did a great job of not giving us a good look during some key stretches,” Manteca coach Dave Asuncion said. “Overall, I’m not totally disappointed, we just couldn’t score.”

That wasn’t the case in the opening quarter.

The Buffaloes showed no signs of being affected by the inauspicious start, as Ben Odell (14 points) scored eight points to help them establish an 18-14 first-quarter cushion.

But in the second, the Panthers (2-0) went on a 16-5 run to take the lead for good. Batt, a 5-foot-9 off guard, accounted for 12 of their 14 first-quarter points and had 17 by halftime.

“(Odell) was able to get to the rim in the first quarter and we were able to hit a couple 3s, but that caused us to be a little too trigger happy in the second quarter,” Asuncion said. “We stopped executing the offense and freelanced.”

Manteca was once again successful in feeding 6-foot-5 center EJ Godfrey, who poured in 12 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter. Taylor Hasal added 11 points.

East Union 71, Escalon 52
This was more like it.

After suffering an 83-33 defeat to Fresno-based Bullard, which has established itself as the Modesto City Classic favorite, in Wednesday’s opening round, East Union (1-1) put together a solid all-around effort against Escalon.

TeeJay Gordon posted 21 points to pace the Lancers, while Brandon Cline buried six 3-pointers for his 18 points. Robert Vaughn chipped in 10 points, while center Alex Del Real contributed eight points and eight rebounds.

East Union plays the winner of the Los-Banos Beyer game tonight at 6:30 p.m.

“Before the game and after the game (Wednesday) night I was preaching that we could either bounce back or we could fold,” EU coach Brett Lewis said. “The guys responded. We came out and had a very solid game in all aspects.”

Cartwright Classic
McClatchy 63, Sierra 49
At Elk Grove High, Sierra (0-1) put itself in a 20-10 hole going into the second quarter and couldn’t overcome foul trouble the rest of the way.

Will Ward and Jerrod Patton each picked up two first-quarter fouls, and the Timberwolves got small quick with their 6-foot-5 standout posts benched. Ward fouled out of the game early in the fourth with eight points.

Sophomore guard Guillermo Nunez ended up leading the way with 11 points, hitting three 3-pointers.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well, we didn’t rebound and we didn’t defend,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said. “It was not a very good start to our season.

Sierra confronts the loser of Thursday’s Lincoln (Stockton)-Fairfield game today at 4 p.m.
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