STOCKTON — The battle of the bigs headlined Thursday’s nonleague matchup between Lincoln and visiting Manteca, but a pair of guards stole the show.
Five-foot-10 Dwight Young, a transfer from Lincoln, scored 17 points, and 5-8 Franklie Lopez nailed a key 3-pointer with about a minute to go extended what was a one-point lead for Manteca which held off the upset-minded Trojans, 59-54.
“Big shot for us,” Manteca coach Brett Lewis said. “Frankie gave us what we needed at that point.”
After throttling highly-regarded St. Mary’s of Albany by nearly 30 points in the Prep2Prep NorCal Tip-Off Classic in Newark last Saturday, Lewis said the Buffaloes (2-0) “came out flat and a little big-headed.”
Manteca’s skyscraping trio of Anand Hundal, Tydus Verhoeven and Kenny Wooten struggled with foul trouble throughout, and they were each one infraction away from fouling out for much of the final period. The Buffs held a 10-point lead midway through the second, but Lincoln (2-1) stayed within range as the 6-9 tandem of Hundal and Wooten sat the rest of the half because of fouls.
Sophomore Andre Kelly, a burly 6-foot-6 post, gave Manteca the most problems. He led all scorers with 24 points, while 6-9 Elan Spencer added nine points.
“(Kelly) is physical and has a big body, but he can shoot and dribble a little and was a tough matchup for us,” said Lewis, who was also impressed by Spencer’s skills.
Hundal finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Wooten had seven and nine for the Buffaloes. Verhoeven contributed 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Lewis lauded Jose Garcia, Angel Perez, Tyler Graves-Kelso and sophomore Matt Ender for their play while the team’s post players were benched for foul trouble.
“Our bench was tested tonight and they stepped up big time,” Lewis said.
Ripon Christian 66, Linden 39
RIVERBANK — Travis Vander Molen played his first game since tearing his ACL, MCL, meniscus and cartilage in a knee on Jan. 31.
He chipped in seven points in limited action, as the Knights (1-0) rolled to an easy win in its Ron Peterson Tip-Off Tournament opener.
“Travis was way ahead of schedule,” first-year Ripon Christian head coach Mark Hofman said of Vander Molen’s quick recovery. “We were able to play him in 3-minute spurts. He’s so smart and so valuable in different ways for us.”
Zach Cortwright fired a game-high 17 points while draining five of the Knights’ seven 3-pointers. Ty Beidleman contributed 14 points, and Andrew Vander Weide had 10.
Ripon Christian shot out to a 14-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Up next is Calaveras in the semifinal round. Tipoff is set for 6:30 tonight.
Big Valley Classic
Woodland Christian 32
MODESTO — The Indians (2-0) were not at full strength for their first game in the 12th annual Big Valley Christian Holiday Classic but it didn’t matter.
They shot 54 percent from the field, set the tone with a 27-point opening quarter and Cole Stevens amassed 28 points in the blowout victory. They’ll face the winner of the Le Grand-Rite of Passage game.
Matthew Molher pitched in with 16 points, and Aaron Paschini finished with 11 while playing sick. Nine of the 10 available players scored for Ripon. Starting forward Cody Haines and Jose Medina were both out.
Manteca 72, Lincoln 41
STOCKTON — The Buffaloes stampeded their way to a 24-2 fourth quarter and a season-opening win.
Freshman Jorge Cedano Jr. debuted with a 24-point outburst that included three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. He also had 14 points in the third.
Gino Campiotti added 13 points, and Kyle Bolding had nine.