Gino Campiotti hit the game-winning basket and then sealed the victory with a steal for the Manteca High boys sophomore team on Thursday when the Buffaloes edged rival East Union 51-50 in a Valley Oak League battle of second-place teams.
“It’s always a hard-fought battle between these two teams,” Manteca coach Ryan Lagomarsino said.
Campiotti, who finished with nine points, put Manteca (6-2) up for good with a tough shot in the lane with 3 seconds left. East Union, inbounding from its own baseline, couldn’t get a shot off in the end as Campiotti intercepted the pass.
“Figure I’d put him back in for defense since he was the starting safety for the (varsity) football team,” Lagomarsino joked.
Jorge Cedano Jr. paced Manteca with 19 points, 14 of which were scored in the opening half. Kyle Rachels added seven points but was called “the unsung hero” by his coach for his efforts on defense.
Manteca 57, Manteca 43
Mariah James scored 12 points and Nina Murphy chipped in eight, but wasn’t enough for East Union (5-3) to overcome its rivals.
Manteca 40, East Union 34
In a battle for first place at Winter Gym, host Manteca (8-0) rallied back from a 9-1 first-quarter deficit with a 17-4 run in the second.
Kaitlyn Morenzone poured in 22 points to lead Manteca. Leilani Menor paced the Lancers with 10 pts, supported by Jaidyn Valencias’ nine pts.
East Union closed the gap to within five late in the fourth quarter before Makenna Condit iced the win with three free throws in the last minute. Adriana Valencia contributed seven points and six rebounds for the Buffaloes.
East Union 32, Manteca 24
Pasqual Vasquez accounted for more than half of East Union’s points with 17. Kyle Lynch recorded 11 points for Manteca.