With 1 minute, 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter Friday and Kendrick Currey having just given Sierra a one-point lead with a 3-pointer, the Timberwolves forced a turnover and Currey was clapping at Sierra’s good fortune when he was whistled for a technical foul.
Jorge Cedano hit the two free throws to give Manteca hack the lead, but two free throws by John Elijah with 31.9 seconds left followed by an Elijah steal sent the game into overtime when Currey hit a 3-pointer for the only shot from the field in the extra period for the Timberwolves in a thrilling 57-54 Valley Oak League win at Winter Gym.
“I got that technical foul and I had to make up for it,” Currey said. “I was just clapping because we had just got a turnover.
“When I took that shot in overtime I knew it was in.”
Cedano (11 points) gave the Buffaloes (6-5 VOL, 10-14 overall) a 52-51with 58 seconds left in the extra period. The Timberwolves (6-5, 11-13) then went on a 6-0 run via four straight free throws from Jaime Ochoa and Jaedon Malone getting the next final two.
Michael Ballard brought Manteca within 57-54 on a pair of free throws with 12.6 seconds showing on the clock. The two teams then combined for three turnovers before Jaylen Jackson snagged a rebound for Sierra in the closing seconds to secure the win.
“We held our poise,” Timberwolves coach Scott Thomason said. “We had to fight through it and face a lot of adversity.”
There was no adversity for Sierra to start the game as the Timberwolves jumped out to a 14-3 lead before the Buffaloes led 25-24 at halftime.
“We got off to a great start tonight,” Thomason said. “I thought we were playing great basketball and then in the second quarter we let them back in. I didn’t like us losing at halftime. I thought we should have been leading by six or seven points.
“We kept on grinding. Kendrick Currey hit two, big gigantic 3s. Jamie (Ochoa) made his free throws and we got the stops when we needed to. I am super proud of our guys right now but this win doesn’t mean anything if we don’t go out and win Wednesday at home against Lathrop.”
Ochoa led a balanced Sierra attack with 11 points and he had seven assists.
“Our coach told us that we have been struggling on the road and if we wanted to make a run at the playoffs we had to win out,” Ochoa said. “Our guys did a good job and stayed together and I just told the guys we had to be tough. Last time they out-toughed us. We got on the loose balls this time and we out-scrapped them.”
“I was just trying to take what the defense gave me,” Ochoa said. “My teammates were there to make the shots on those assists.”
Elijah scored 10 points and had six steals. Currey added nine points with three offensive rebounds in overtime and Eduardo Jasso chipped in nine points for the Timberwolves.
Cedano led all scorers with 15 points. Teammate Gino Campiotti added 11points.
There were three lead changes in the fourth quarter and two in overtime.
“It was a back-and forth game,” Manteca coach Brett Lewis said. “We just couldn’t execute when we needed to. We have to better than that if we want to win.”
Manteca 73, Sierra 55
The Buffaloes placed four players in double figures with Nicolas Bell at 14 points, RaShawn Ballard and Sonny Dozier at 13 apiece and Kendell Ragsdale at 11.
The Timberwolves’ David Kakala led all scorers with 17 points. Teammates Zach Curry and Isiah Sanchez each chipped in 12 points.
Manteca 56, Sierra 38
The Buffaloes’ Michael Arriola led all scorers with 21 points.
Sebastian Davis scored 12 points for the Timberwolves and David Cumberworth added 10.