Jaqi Gutierrez hit key free throws down the stretch to help the Buffaloes claim their season opener at Sacramento’s Rio Americano, 49-42.
Gutierrez was 3 for 4 at the line, hitting a crucial free throw to put her team ahead by four with 27 seconds left in the game.
According to Manteca coach Andrea Hiatt, her team managed to make 7 of 9 free throws in the fourth quarter.
“Free throws proved to be the difference in the game,” she said.
The Buffaloes were locked in a seesaw battle. After the opening quarter, they led, 15-12, only to fall behind by halftime, 28-24.
Manteca stormed back behind the one-two scoring attack of Mikayla Hasal and Karleasha Thompson. Both scored nine points during the second-half rally.
Thompson finished with a team-high 16 points. Jasmine Odell netted 12 while Hasal chipped in with 11.
The Buffaloes (1-0) will take on Turlock Tuesday at Winter Gymnasium.
Weston Ranch 72, Pitman 51
Jazmin Strane scored 18 points and Aljana Brown and Emoni Wilson both chipped in with 13 to help lead the Cougars past Pitman in Turlock on Wednesday.
Leticia Infante and Jakia Richmond tallied nine and eight points, respectively.
Weston Ranch also helped its cause by shooting 71 percent from the free throw line.
“We’re improving and we still have a lot of things to work on,” said Cougars coach Chris Bauer. “But it’s a good start to the season.”
The Cougars led 15-8 after the first period and all but broke the game wide open by halftime, leading 43-23.
Next up for Weston Ranch is Christian Brothers today in the Christian Brothers tournament.
Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Ripon Christian 65, Downey 10
RC used a balanced scoring attack led by Teagan Manus and Mikaela Alger. Both scored 10 points, with Manus dishing out seven assists and Alger hauling in eight boards.
Rachel DeVries also helped out, scoring eight points while yanking down five rebounds.
The Knights, who led 16-1 after the first period, built up an overwhelming 37-3 halftime advantage.
They’ll take on Riverbank, which defeated Turlock Christian in first-round action, today in Escalon starting at about 6:30 p.m.
Weston Ranch 53, Pitman 18
Aaliyah Thomas led three Cougars in double figures with 15 points, while Vanessa Contreras and Briana White turned in 12 and 10, respectively.