While the outcome of Monday night’s non-league girls basketball game between Manteca and visiting Laguna Creek of Elk Grove was never in doubt, Manteca coach Ryan Bono looked beyond the 57-29 Buffaloes thumping at Winter Gym to see the progress of his two injured stalwarts who have been out since Monday, Nov. 28.
Loretta Kakala and Sydney Fryer were injured in the season-starting Foundation Game with Ripon, and Monday night was the first either one has seen the floor since that night — including practice.
“Tonight was their first night back,” Buffaloes coach Ryan Bono said of Kakala and Fryer. “They are still a little tender so that is why they had limited minutes and that will probably be how it is until league. We will see how they feel getting their legs back under them.
In less than four minutes of total action, Kakala had seven points and three rebounds.
“It feels great,” Kakala said. “I have been at practices supporting the team.
“I was a little scared when I went into the game because I wasn’t sure what my pain level would be, but I feel great.”
Fryer had a bit more time than Kakala, but not much. She had two points but did a good job distributing the ball when she was in, something Bono was pleased with.
“Tonight was one of our better efforts overall as a team,” Bono said. “We made extra passes – a lot of passes – we played very unselfish. We were able to get the ball up the floor without dribbling, something we worked a lot on in practice this last week and it showed tonight.”
Freshman Jayda Jackson ran the offense most of the night for Manteca (2-5), scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
“We did a really good job moving the ball and playing defense,” Jackson said. “And I think we played together really well.”
Julianne Eavenson came off the bench in the fourth quarter for the Buffaloes and scored eight points and made five rebounds in the period.
“It was a really good game for us,” Eavenson said. “We meshed pretty well and we did a good job of passing the ball into the post and then moving it around.”
Simran Kaur had seven points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds for Manteca.
Micaela Dagler led the Cardinals (2-7) with seven points.
Laguna Creek 17
Savannah Alvarez had a good all-around game for the Buffaloes with 11 points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block.
Arianna Melena added nine points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals with Kaleah Sanders chipping in none rebounds and five steals.