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Buffaloes go cold late in loss; Cougars, Knights get offensive

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POSTED January 8, 2013 11:27 p.m.

Down four points at the half, it was sink-or-swim time for the Manteca Buffaloes.

And when they began the second half, it was definitely time to swim – roaring back to take the lead in the fourth quarter and put them in position for the win.

But the same shots that fell to put Manteca in the lead eventually started falling for Kimball. It was more than enough momentum for the Jaguars, who pulled out a 56-46 Valley Oak League win Tuesday night at the Dr. Robert C. Winter Gymnasium.

“They hit the shots and we didn’t,” Manteca head coach Dave Asuncion said. “We’ve got to bounce back when we play come back on Thursday. That’s the only thing that we really can do.”

Miguel Lopez led Manteca in scoring with 16 points, hitting three shots from beyond the arc, and Michael Hatfield finished with 10.

Manteca (1-2 VOL, 8-7 will take the court again on Thursday when they host the Sonora Wildcats at 7:15 p.m.

Weston Ranch 62, Oakdale 24

Holding a team scoreless for a quarter is usually a good indicator of impending victory.

And that’s exactly what happened with Weston Ranch on Tuesday night in Oakdale.

Fresh off of a pair of league wins, the high-flying Cougars wasted no time in jumpstarting their offense,  leaning on Dylan Alexander. The standout senior scored 21 first-half points as Weston Ranch mounted an early lead.

However,  it was the Cougars’ defense and its shutout in the second quarter that set the tone in their 62-24 rout.

“We’re really working on putting a complete game together right now; we’re definitely going to be tested,” said Weston Ranch head coach Chris Teevan.

Alexander finished with 23 points, while Davieon Lavrett and Eric Duncan had nine apiece.

Weston Ranch (9-5, 3-0 VOL) will host Lathrop on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

Ripon Christian 78, Waterford 52

The 70-point mark had eluded Ripon Christian all season.

Until Tuesday night in Waterford.

Thanks to  17-point performances from Jon Vander Molen and Eric Broker, the Knights ran away with a 78-52 win over the Wildcats.

“We’ve been scoring in the 50s and the 60s, and tonight we were able to break that mark,” said Ripon Christian head coach Ron Vander Molen. “Eric (Broker) is really coming around offensively. For him to put up 17 points off the bench is impressive and it really helped us keep that lead throughout the game.”

The Knights (10-3, 2-0 TVL) will travel to Denair on Thursday to take on the Wolves. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Central Catholic 67, Ripon 47

It was easy for Ripon boys head coach Rod Wright to pinpoint exactly what it was that helped the Central Catholic Raiders hand his squad a loss Tuesday night.

Size.

Anchored in the post by 6-foot, 9-inch center John Fenton and five other players 6-4 and taller, the Raiders built a fortress around the bucket. Ripon struggled to score inside the paint, and its woes were compounded by a cold night from the perimeter.

“We played hard tonight. It was the most physically demanding game that we’ve had in a while,” Wright said. “We just didn’t have the shooters to overcome a lot of what we had to face.

“We played as hard as we could when you’re giving up three-inches in every position on the floor. I just wish we could have kept it a little closer.”

Tim Groen led all Ripon scorers with 13. Cole Herrin finished with eight.

Ripon (5-10, 1-0 TVL) will host the Hughson Huskies on Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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