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Manteca’s Range earns most valuable honor in VOL

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Manteca’s Range earns most valuable honor in VOL

Senior transfer Courtney Range made an immediate impact in her only season at Manteca High, leading the Buffaloes to their third straight Valley Oak League championship. To view more photos visit w...

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POSTED March 5, 2013 1:27 a.m.

Manteca High girls basketball coach Cody Norman doesn’t necessarily applaud the points or the rebounds or the national hype.

Those were things he already knew about Courtney Range before she transferred into his program from St. Mary’s.

What he didn’t know was how the 6-foot-2 wing would mix with new teammates and a new coach.

Like everything else, Range made that look easy too.

The Cal-bound shooting guard and McDonald’s All-American nominee was named the Valley Oak League’s MVP after leading Manteca to its third consecutive league championship.

She missed the first 35 days of the season because of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s transfer rules, but hit the court running. And gunning.

The Buffaloes were 14-2 with Range in the lineup.

“I commend her,” Norman said. “… Having a new coach and having to sit out those first 35 days, I could tell it was getting to her. She wanted to play; she was so used to playing.

“Once she hit the floor that first game, everything seemed to mix well. There wasn’t an adjustment period. Everything fell into place right away.”

Manteca was perfect in VOL play and advanced to the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

Range very nearly finished her senior season a member of the 20-20 club, averaging 20.1 points and 19.6 rebounds in 16 games.

“She brought another aspect of competitiveness,” Norman said. “All of our girls wanted to win, but the fact that she had been to the section title game and to NorCals, she knew what it would take to get there. She was teaching by example.”

Range was one of three Buffalo players named to the all-Valley Oak League first team. She was joined by seniors Mikayla Hasal and Jasmine Odell (8.6 points, 9.8 rebounds).

Hasal was also selected to the all-Defensive Team, putting the finishing touch on a decorated career that produced championships and a college scholarship.

She averaged 9.5 points, 4.1 assists and nearly three steals per game and will take those skills to the next level. The point guard will play at Cal State Stanislaus next year.

“It was always Mikayla’s team,” Norman said. “She was in charge and she did a great job of complementing Courtney.”

Her younger sister Jessica Hasal – a dead-eye from beyond the 3-point line – was an honorable mention.

Weston Ranch was rewarded with four all-VOL selections, including two first-teamers: Emoni Wilson and Brianna White.

The Cougars finished 12-2 and featured arguably the deepest lineup in the Valley Oak League.

Wilson averaged 13 points, 4.2 rebounds and led the Cougars with 3.5 steals. The senior was named to the all-Defensive Team, too.

Junior Brianna White emerged as a dominating force around the bucket, topping Weston Ranch in scoring (13.8) and rebounds (8.5).

Point guard Aljanea Brown and sophomore Elisabeth Alexander were honorable mentions.

Lathrop’s springy forward Loreal Taylor was the area’s only other first-team selection.

She led with her energy and tenacity and it helped turn the Spartans into a tough out for the Valley Oak League’s upper crust. 

Lathrop set program records for victories in a season (11) and league (5) and suffered consecutive two-point losses to Manteca, Sonora and Weston Ranch – the VOL’s top three teams.

Taylor averaged 13 points and 7.9 rebounds.

Guards Jazlyn Simon and Janet Visaya were also recognized. Simon, a burst of energy off the bench, was named to the second team, while Visaya was an honorable mention and all-Defensive Team selection.

East Union freshman Olivia Vezaldenos was a second-team selection.

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