Jessica Hasal drained a 3-pointer and made a steal on the ensuing Sierra possession midway through the fourth quarter Wednesday to spot Manteca to a four-point lead that would prove to be the margin of victory in a 36-32 win at Sierra High.
“I wasn’t shooting very well the whole game so I knew I had to hit one,” Hasal said. “We were playing scrappy and that helped me get the steal.”
Manteca (2-3 Valley Oak League, 5-13 overall) had the biggest lead of the game at 9-2, and neither team could string together enough offense to pull away.
“Consistency has been a problem for us this year and in the first part of this game,” Buffaloes coach Cody Norman said. “The first three quarters Hasal was like the rest of our team with ups and downs. And in the fourth quarter she played smart, made good passes, waited for the screen and shot better than half of her opportunities from the line.”
Hasal led all scorers with 15 points and was 4 of 6 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Hasal had a steal, and teammate Elizabeth Tolbert had two in the fourth period that saw the Timberwolves (2-3) commit six turnovers and score only four points. Hasal and Tolbert each had five steals.
“Manteca showed up to play,” Sierra coach Martha Spivey said. “They outplayed us tonight, executed when they needed to and knocked down their free throws.”
The Timberwolves were just 6 of 21 from the free-throw line.
“We didn’t make our free throws, that’s for sure,” Spivey said. “They played better then we did and deserved to win. They did a great job.”
Sierra won the battle of the boards 49-41 and was led by Allie Walljasper with a phenomenal 22 rebounds and Kayla Wilson (three blocks) with 14. Mildred Perez pulled down 11 rebounds for the Buffaloes.
Wilson caught fire in the third quarter when she scored all 10 of her points behind three 3-pointers, notching a double-double. Walljasper just missed a double-double with nine points.
Manteca 42, Sierra 35
The Buffaloes (5-0) remain undefeated in the VOL through five league contests.
Manteca’s Leah Manuleleha led all scorers with 18 points and teammate Aryana Martinez added 11. Trayana Davis led the Timberwolves (2-3, 12-7) with 13 points and three assists followed closely by Devi Coglia with 12. Kendelle Messersmith had six points, two steals and four boards.
Manteca 47, Sierra 38
The Buffaloes had two players with double-doubles and nearly had a third.
Jennifer Santos led Manteca with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Kayla Holmes had 10 points and 14 rebounds with Lejla Pepic adding 13 points and seven rebounds.