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Fourth quarter derails Manteca boys
Manteca’s Domonick Victor Drives between Sam Bettencourt and Bryce Johnson (21) of St. Mary’s. The Buffaloes defeated St, Mary’s of Stockton 60-53 in an early round of the Trojan Christmas Classis. - photo by DAVE CAMBPELL The Bulletin

 STOCKTON – Manteca played three quarters of good basketball Saturday but the wheels fell off in the fourth period as host St. Mary’s downed the Buffaloes 60-53 in nonleague action at Morelli Gym.

Seemingly in control, Manteca (9-2) led 45-34 late in the third quarter but then the Rams (8-4) took over. St. Mary’s scored the final four points of the period and 16 of the first 20 points of the fourth quarter for a 20-4 run that left Manteca out in the cold. 

“I think our experience showed a little bit after a slow start,” Rams coach Ken Green said. “We weren’t really aggressive near the basket in the first half and I thought our defense was a little inconsistent.

“We kind of got our legs up under us and gelled a bit. I think it showed at both ends. Our defense locked in and that got us the ball in transition which got us some run outs against a very well-coached and talented team.”

The Buffaloes surrendered control of the boards in the fourth quarter with St. Mary’s grabbing four off the offensive glass in the period when the Rams outscored Manteca 22-8. 

“We have been struggling to put together four quarters of basketball,” Buffaloes coach Brett Lewis said. “And that definitely showed today in the fourth quarter when it hurt the most.

“It is something we have been talking about trying to work to get better at but it hurt tonight. We stopped rebounding the ball and gave them too many second-chance points along with some bad turnovers.” 

Miguel Sequeira led Manteca with 12 points followed by Jordan Burciaga with 11 and Jorge Cedano and Domonick Victor with nine each. 

Jamar Marshall scored eight points for the Rams in the fourth quarter and along with Bryce Johnson earned high-point honors with 17 apiece.

It does not get any easier for Manteca as the Buffaloes begin the prestigious Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic on Wednesday against Centennial of Bakersfield at 4 p.m. 


Bulldog Classic

 TURLOCK – Three Manteca wrestlers took third place Saturday in the boys/girls tournaments at Turlock High School.

 Dominic Day went 4-1 at 138 pounds to take third place and Joseph Farrell (170) was fifth at 3-2.

 In girls action, Azucena Rodriguez (111) went 4-1 and Yadhira Rodriguez (116) was 3-1 and both finished third.

Central Valley Girls Duals

CERES – Die by the forfeit, live by the forfeit.

 Ripon participated in the first girls duals meet in Sac Joaquin Section history on Saturday at Central Valley High, and with only seven girls in the 14 weight classes the Indians yielded up to 42 points per match. This caused them to go 1-2 in preliminary action, but in the end it was a forfeit that gave them a key victory.

After beating El Capitan of Merced 30-27 in Pool C action, Ripon faced tournament host Central Valley in the finale. The Indians trailed the Hawks 36-28 with two matches left when freshman Katelynn Cardoza won in sudden victory to come within 36-31. Central Valley did not have a wrestler in the final match so Ripon won 37-36.

 Marissa Hernandez and Ashley Espinoza each finished 5-0 and received a gold medal for going undefeated.  

 It was a historic week for the Indians as they defeated Livingston in the inaugural Trans-Valley League girls wrestling match and as such claimed the first-ever TVL championship.

“We have steadily grown over the years and will grow tremendously in the future,” Ripon coach Eric Barriga said. “Our goal is to be the pre-eminent girls program in the area.  And with a fresh set of ladies we can accomplish that goal.”

The Indians travel to Santa Maria on Wednesday for a tournament.