Manteca High’s sophomore boys basketball team beat one crosstown rival to get to another for tonight’s championship game in its own Block M Tournament.
In Friday’s semifinal round, the Buffaloes outlasted East Union, 55-47. The finale against Sierra is scheduled to tip off at 8:15.
Manteca led by as much as 16 in the third quarter before East Union’s press defense began to force turnovers in bunches.
Lechi Nkwocha was one of four Buffaloes in double figures with 18 points. Amir Ebrat contributed 13 points, Keyshawn Shackleford had 11 and Adrian Contreras grabbed 14 rebounds to go with his 10 points.
“It was a pretty close game throughout,” Manteca coach Bob Orr said. “We kept our poise and were able to hang on in the end when EU clawed back.”
On Thursday, Manteca opened tournament action with a 66-43 drubbing of Ripon, leading by 35 at one point. Shackleford paced Manteca with 17 points, while Contreras and Ebrat each had 12.
East Union 47, Manteca 32
The Pages blanked Manteca in the second quarter and used a 23-point barrage in the third to run away with it.
Austin Miller turned in a game-high 20 points, and Malik Thomas finished with 10. East Union squares off with Sierra in the Block M championship tonight at 6:45.
“It was a great defensive effort by the whole team, we flustered them,” EU coach Cody Lee said. “Our third quarter run was due to our defense — we got a lot of steals and were able to get some fastbreak layups.”