ELK GROVE – The Manteca High Buffaloes appeared to be rounding into shape.
They opened the Consumnes Oak Tournament Thursday with a 72-56 victory over Liberty Ranch, with five players scoring in double figures.
Leading the charge were Dwight Young and Tydus Verhoeven. Young had a team-high 19 points while Verhoeven added 10 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks.
Antwann Taylor hit for 11 and Gino Campiotti and Jorge Cedano both had 10.
“This is our fourth back together – we definitely improved from our game (a loss at St. Mary’s) earlier this week,” said Manteca coach Brett Lewis, who returned seven players including Campiotti and Cedano from the section champion football team.
The Buffaloes (3-2) will play the winner of host Consumnes Oaks-McKinleyville tonight at 8:30 p.m.
Lathrop 81, Liberty 65
TRACY – Junior Ballard poured in 31 points and Adonis Payton chipped in with 16 to lead the Spartans past Liberty in the first round of the 27th annual Holiday Classic at Merrill West High.
Lathrop coach Craig Ward also praised the efforts of Michael Mills and Dan Ballesteros. “They both played tenacious defense,” he said.
His team will play the winner of Tracy-McNair tonight at 6 p.m.
The Spartans (3-3) lost an earlier preseason game to Tracy. “We’d look forward to a rematch (with the Bulldogs),” Ward said.
Weston Ranch 64,
ROCKLIN – The Cougars kicked off the 17th annual Rocklin Holiday Tournament by knocking off the host Thunder on Thursday.
Weston Ranch (5-2) will play Placer tonight at 8 p.m. in a rematch of sort from last year’s semifinal playoff game.
Miloni Massey led the Cougars with 18 points and freshman point guard Gavin Wilburn netted 14. Chedrick Ordonez added 12.
Weston Ranch led by as much as 13 with a minute left only to hold on for the win. “We made some young mistakes,” said coach Chris Teevan.