MODESTO — Manteca High opened the 18th annual Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic Wednesday with a 65-52 loss to Campolindo.
“They’re a good team,” said Buffaloes coach Brett Lewis of the Diablo-Foothill Athletic League’s Cougars. “They wanted this game. They played hard and accepted the challenge.”
Manteca (3-7) had a tough time stopping sophomore point guard Carter Mahaney and junior swingman David Ahazie. The two Campolindo standouts recently made all-tourney teams for the Stonebarger and Peterich tournaments, with Mahaney being named MVP for the latter.
Against the Buffaloes, Ahazie finished with a game-high 17 points while Mahaney netted 14 while steadily finding the open man.
Despite the early start, Manteca came out strong behind the play of Gino Campiotti and Jorge Cendano.
“During our off days, we’ll have practices at 10 a.m.,” Lewis said. “For us, playing this early wasn’t out of the ordinary.”
A scoring drive by Matthew Ender coupled by a pair of Campiotti free throws provided the Buffaloes with a 22-16 advantage early in the second quarter.
But Campolindo (9-2) then went on a 9-2 run, seizing the momentum while limiting Manteca to a single field goal — Ender scored on a put-back — and taking the lead for good.
A bulk of the Cougars’ scoring came off of back-door cuts, second-chance baskets and 3s by Ahazie and Trevin Kroichick.
Down 37-26 at the intermission, the Buffaloes put together a modest run in third thanks to a trey by Cedano and baskets by Campiotti and Derek Range, pulling to within eight, 46-38.
John Torchio, who was relentless on both ends of the court, helped orchestrate the Cougars’ 11-2 spurt to close out the third. He had six of his eight points down that stretch.
With his team down 58-44 in the fourth, Lewis turned to his bench to close out the game. Junior Dayvion Mayes, for one, made the most of his opportunity, scoring six points and grabbing a pair of rebounds.
“He may have earned himself more playing time,” said Lewis of his 6-foot-2 junior forward.
Campiotti led Manteca with 13 points, with Cedano and Ender chipping in 11 and eight, respectively.
The Buffaloes will play at noon today against Ripon.
Weston Ranch 44
The Cougars (6-2) had their hands full with the likes of Andre Kelly and Ezekiel Holman. The one-two punch of Lincoln accounted for 22 and 21 points, respectively, leading their team past Weston Ranch in the opening round.
The Cougars will take on Turlock at 10:30 a.m. today.
“We needed some of our guys to step up,” said Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan following another loss to the Trojans (13-0), who previously downed his Cougars in the McDonald’s Classic title game.
The Cougars stayed even through most of three quarters, getting 13 points each from Donjae Lindsey and Makhi Turner. Lincoln went on a 13-0 run to put the game out of reach.
Modesto Christian 81, Ripon 43
Baljot Sahi buried five 3-pointers for tournament host Modesto Christian (7-1) and shared game-high honors with teammate Tyler Williams with 17 points.
The Crusaders used a 17-7 run in the second quarter to stake a 39-20 halftime lead.
“There was a lot of pressure and we were just getting used to the speed of the game,” Ripon coach Rod Wright said.
Kyle Sisk scored 10 points for the Indians (5-6), while Vincent Olmo and Baz Cheema had nine apiece.