Although Manteca led the entire game Tuesday at Weston Ranch, the Buffaloes were never able to pull away from Weston Ranch and escaped with a 50-48 Valley Oak League win.
The upset-minded Cougars (2-4 VOL, 11-9 overall) were in position to win it at the buzzer but came up short, while Manteca (4-2, 14-6) avoided a third straight loss.
“We did almost everything we needed to do,” Weston Ranch coach Mike Williams said. “We didn’t convert some free throws in some crucial spots. We had a shot to win it at the end but it just didn’t go.”
“They were big in the paint and hit a couple of big shots in the paint. It was a good game. Both teams played well and were competitive.”
Manteca went cold in the fourth quarter, scoring only seven points and none in the final two minutes.
“Defensively, they put us in a tough spot tonight,” Buffaloes coach Ryan Bono said. “It was kind of an ugly game for us between their defense and their offensive rebounds keeping them in the game.
“They wouldn’t let us get going offensively and it became a scrappy game, and sometimes you have to win that way.”
Manteca junior Kyaira Jacobs led all scorers with 16 points, and she notched her 1,000th career point on the Buffaloes’ last points of the first half via one of her three 3-pointers.
“Sometimes you just have to hustle,” Jacobs said. “Not every game is going to be pretty and we just came out and played aggressive.”
Of her 1,000-point milestone Jacobs said, “It’s a big accomplishment, that’s for sure. It’s amazing — I’m extremely happy. My team is amazing and I love my coaches.”
Manteca’s Paige Peterson (nine rebounds) and Jaslyn Woods (15 rebounds) scored 10 points apiece with Peterson going 3 of 4 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
“We played kind of sloppy,” Peterson said. “But we pulled it together enough to get the win and that was great.”
Dearri Ross led Weston Ranch with 14 points and had seven of her team’s 13 points in the final period. Jennalyn Laminero added 11 points and Darnaysha Huff chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.
Thursday night at 7 the Buffaloes travel to Central Catholic and the Cougars do not play until next Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they host first-place Kimball.