Manteca put its talent and inexperience on display against Ron Peterson Tipoff Tournament host Riverbank on Thursday.
The Buffaloes led by 21 points after three quarters but allowed Riverbank to cut the deficit to eight at one point in the 63-50 victory.
Riverbank graduated a handful of key seniors, namely four-year standout Rolaun Dunham, from a team that went 24-6, reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV finals and won a CIF Northern California Regional Championships game last year, but the Bruins’ identity remains the same. They are still undersized but play fast from baseline to baseline.
“Riverbank came out firing and pressured us into taking quick shots,” Manteca coach Brett Lewis said. “We gotta be better than that. We gotta find a way to keep the lead and put a team away. Riverbank never gave up. They’re scrappy and well-coached.”
Manteca (2-0) used size and depth to its advantage. Tydus Verhoeven, a 6-foot-6 sophomore guard, recorded 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three blocks for the Buffaloes. Center Anand Hundal, 6-8, blocked eight shots while adding 14 points and six boards.
Lewis lauded the efforts of reserves Frankie Lopez and Adrian Contreras, saying “both stepped up big tonight.”
Lopez scored 10 points and the stopped the bleeding with a much-needed bucket in the fourth quarter as Riverbank (0-1) mounted a furious 14-2 run. Contreras contributed nine points and seven boards. Starting point guard Marcus Montano also had nine points.
Manteca led 56-35 going into the fourth, but Wolfgang Lopez, who topped all scorers with 27 points, and Riverbank went down swinging.
“We were ready for the press and handled it well, but Riverbank forced a chaotic pace in the fourth quarter,” Lewis said. “We have to take better shots with a lead in the fourth quarter.
Manteca takes on Calaveras at 8:30 tonight in the semifinals. The Redskins (2-0) throttled Waterford 67-18 in their tournament opener.
“They have a quality big man and good guard play,” Lewis said. “It will be a tough challenge for us and should be a battle.”
Ripon Christian 86, Oakdale 62
Sean Broker was 0 for 2 on 3-point attempts, but the 6-2 senior wing more than made up for it inside the arc in the Knights’ Ron Peterson Tipoff Tournament opener.
Broker was 16-for-21 from the field and 7-for-8 on free throws and burned shorthanded Oakdale, which has several players still playing football, for 39 points and 10 rebounds. He accounted for 28 of Ripon Christian’s 43 points in the first half.
Travis Vander Molen contributed 12 points to the win, and Danny Vander Molen had six points, seven assists and five steals.
The Knights take on Summerville in the semifinal round.
Modesto City Classic
Atwater 77, East Union 75
The Lancers (0-2) had many chances to ice their first win of the season but ended up a heartbreaker, as Alex Chavez’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer was the deciding play in the double-overtime thriller.
East Union, ahead by as much as 11 in the third quarter, missed four three throws on its final three possessions of the contest. Sophomore Gyse Hulsebosch did what he could, burying eight 3-pointers to make up the bulk of his 32 points. Austin Miller scored 20 points and hit five 3s of his own, and Chris Molina chimed in with 12 points. The Lancers had to play without Cody Keener and Miller, their top forwards, in overtime after they fouled out.
“We had trouble executing down the stretch,” East Union coach Ryan Tarr said. “The kids played hard and battled, just came up short. I’m proud of their effort. They definitely didn’t quit despite the foul trouble.”
East Union caps group play tonight at 8 p.m. against Enochs at Johansen High.
Davis 63, Lathrop 53
The Spartans (0-2) hung tough for much of the game, but they were done in by a lackluster second quarter and foul trouble.
Their best player, Isaiah Ellis (10 points, seven rebounds), picked up his third foul, a technical, midway through the first quarter. Yancy Ram (10 points) drilled a halfcourt 3-pointer at the end of the first half to keep Lathrop within reach at 27-19, but the damage had already been done.
Avraj Bal led all Lathrop scorers with 12 points, and Nathan Ogunbanwo pulled down 12 rebounds to go with seven points. The Spartans face tournament co-host Johansen at 5 tonight.
Big Valley Holiday Classic
Ripon 73, Le Grand 34
The Indians (2-0) turned it into a rout despite shooting 11-for-24 from the free-throw line and trailing 20-18 with four minutes to go in the second quarter. They held Le Grand to just nine points in the second half.
Cole Stevens led the charge with 21 points. Mario Roach and David Onochie joined the sophomore guard in double figures with 17 and 15, respectively. Ripon takes on the winner of the Ceres-Langston Hughes game at 6:30 tonight.
Manteca 41, Riverbank 32
The Buffaloes (3-0) received a strong second-half effort from Jose Garcia and Matthew Ender to pull away in their Riverbank Tournament opener.
Garcia scored nine of his 11 points in the second half, while Ender fired eight of his 10 over the final two periods.