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Buffaloes exact revenge against Central Valley
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Manteca High’s girls basketball team avoided getting swept by the Ceres schools with its 57-41 victory over Central Valley at home Thursday and kept its postseason hopes alive in the process.

After struggling from the field in a 40-33 road loss to Ceres Tuesday when the Buffaloes (7-5 Valley Oak League, 14-9 overall) hit just two shots from the perimeter, they had five players combine for eight 3-pointers against Central Valley.

Manteca avenged its previous loss to the Hawks (3-9, 6-17), who pulled off a stunning 46-43 upset victory after being down by double digits for most of the second half of their last meeting.

Manteca outscored CV 15-6 in the final quarter Thursday to put the game away.

“It was a revenge game,” Manteca coach Andrea Hiatt said. “They came back and beat us last time, and we weren’t going to let that happen again on our court.”

More importantly, the third-place Buffaloes notched a needed win for playoff purposes. The Sac-Joaquin Section released its first playoff power ratings Monday, and Manteca is 13th in Division III. Only 16 of the 35 teams in the division qualify.

The difference Thursday was perimeter shooting. Sharon Washington, after being held to just four points by Ceres, erupted for 16 and was one of three players who hit a pair of 3’s. Jaqi Gutierrez added 10 points, while senior forward Cynthia Perez and freshman guard Mikayla Hasal chipped in eight apiece.

Alyssa Long led Central Valley with nine.

“Our shot was on tonight, and Jaqi had a good all-around game,” Hiatt said. “She was working hard on defense, getting rebounds and running the fastbreaks. It was a good outing by Jaqi.”

Manteca’s next two contests are huge: Saturday at 5:15 p.m. against Weston Ranch, which is ranked 12th in the power ratings; and No. 19 Sierra across town next Thursday, Feb. 11.

Ceres 56, Weston Ranch 55
CERES — Weston Ranch (6-5, 13-9) followed up a heartbreaking overtime loss to Sonora Tuesday with a heartbreaking one-point loss on the road to the Bulldogs, whom the Cougars previously beat, 49-34.

After 3-point specialist Courtney Duran was denied a shot to tie it before time expired, freshman Emoni Wilson hit a layup to beat the buzzer and cap the finals core.

The difference was a technical foul called on a Weston Ranch player with a little over a minute to go. Ceres (6-6, 11-12) capitalized by hitting both free throws.

“Hopefully we learned our lesson,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “It was a great team effort but we came up short.”

Timnesha Wilson led Weston Ranch with 22 points, five assists and four steals. Courtney Duran added 12 points and seven rebounds; and sophomore post Jazmin Strane pumped in 11 points.

Ceres was spearheaded by 6-foot-2 center Jamie Beck’s 24 points, and Jode Johnson finished with 19.

Sonora 59, Lathrop 29
SONORA — First-year varsity Lathrop (0-13, 2-21) struggled with the second-place Wildcats (9-4, 14-10) and their all-around play. Sonora led 33-14 at halftime before outscoring the Spartans 18-0 in the third.
Freshman Jazlyn Simon finished with 10 points to lead Lathrop, while 6-foot center Brittany Malone had 13 for Sonora.

“They shot the ball really well tonight and did just about anything they wanted,” Lathrop coach Ed Fang said of Sonora. “They executed their offense, rebounded the ball and were a lot quicker than us.”

Trans Valley League
Ripon 65, Hughson 56
HUGHSON — Ripon (5-1, 13-9) is now solidly entrenched in the TVL’s battle for second place with undefeated Modesto Christian still rolling.

Aside from MC, Hughson (3-3, 8-12) proved to be the Indians’ biggest threat during the first round of conference action. They were able to sneak away from the physical game in which 48 fouls were called while outscoring the Huskies 26-14 in the final quarter.

“This was very big,” Ripon coach George Contente said of the win. “We didn’t play our best, but we grinded it out and it’s going to be like that in the playoffs. These kinds of games test our character, and it was nice to see us not lie down and continue to work hard through the adversity.”

Kendra Contente exploded for 23 points for Ripon, scoring 12 of those in the fourth quarter while hitting 7 of 8 from the free-throw line down the stretch.

Ripon also got big double-double efforts from post players Rachel Rodriguez (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Lauren Feddersen (10 points, 10 rebounds). Sereena Hertel pitched in with eight points.
Hughson’s Madelyn Birchall topped all players with 26 points.

 — Jonamar Jacinto