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Lady Buffs win defensive chess match against Sierra
Karleasha Thompson of Manteca goes up a layup. - photo by CHRIS LEONARD / <a href=></a>

It was business as usual for the Manteca High girls varsity basketball squad.

At Sierra, the Buffaloes (6-1, 18-2) once again relied on their tenacious press, rolling to a 47-32 Valley Oak League victory.

“We created a lot of turnovers (off the press),” said Manteca coach Andrea Hiatt, who praised senior guard Mia Ramirez for spearheading the defensive attack.

“She was everywhere,” Hiatt added.

The Timberwolves (1-5, 3-15) countered defensively with their no-pressure zone.

The strategy paid off early on.

“I think we did a good job of disrupting Manteca’s offense,” Timberwolves coach Steve Unterholzner said. “It was the mistakes that cost us.”

He added that most of those were mental.

Sierra jumped out to a 4-1 lead, with 6-foot-0 senior Lia Unterholzner saving the ball from going out of bound. She tapped the ball to Kelly Paredes, who, in turn, found Shelby Shirron for the layup and the foul.

Manteca answered back by scoring 10 unanswered points. Karleasha Thompson scored five of her 11 points in that stretch, including one off a steal. All told, she grabbed 10 rebounds and had two steals and a block.

The Buffaloes enjoyed a big second quarter, outscoring Sierra at one point, 15-3. Offensively, Jasmin Odell, Jaqi Gutierrez and Thompson did most of the damage.

“We settled down after trying to shoot for 3s,” said Hiatt. “Instead, we had to slow down our offense and work the ball around (the perimeter).”

Mikayla Hasal did bury a 3 shortly before the break, giving her team a 30-13 advantage.

Sierra started in the third quarter on a positive note. Lia Unterholzner and Celine Barber connected on four straight free throws.

The Buffaloes again answered back. This time they scored 12 unanswered points with Ramirez and Odell leading the way.

Odell finished with 11 points and Gutierrez finished with eight.

Entering the final period, Manteca held a commanding 42-19 lead.

For Sierra, Lia Unterholzner had a game-high 13 points, eight boards, two blocks and two steals.

Shirron chipped in with 11 and Barber had eight.


Manteca 45, Sierra 20

The Buffaloes won the early game. Results were unavailable.