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All-Area MVPs Beidleman, Ikharo stepped up in lead roles for championship teams
All-Area Basketball
Manteca’s Jada Ikharo drives down the lane in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff game with visiting El Camino. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

 They’re two seniors who enjoyed breakthrough seasons and didn’t always need to score to make their presence felt.

Ripon Christian center Jace Beidleman and Manteca guard/forward Jada Ikharo are the Manteca Bulletin All-Area boys and girls basketball MVPs.

The 6-foot-9 Beidleman led the Knights (24-7) to a fourth straight Trans-Valley League title, their 13th Sac-Joaquin Section banner and a NorCal appearance in the competitive Division III bracket. He was also named All-TVL MVP.

Ikharo elevated her all-around game to lift Manteca (25-8) to a share of the Valley Oak League championship and its first SJS final since 2000.

Beidleman was one of just three returning players from Ripon Christian’s 2023 Section championship

All-Area Basketball
Ripon Christian center Jace Beidleman dunks it through the hoop in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship game against Futures at UC Davis.
team that advanced to the NorCal Division V final. He and fellow senior Luke Crivello started the season late coming out of the football team’s deep postseason run, joining a starting lineup featuring three sophomores.

“He won Section (championships) on two completely different teams,” RC coach Mark Hofman said. “He was on a senior-heavy team last year. This year, I didn’t think we could do it again.”

They did it again, and Beidleman was literally a big reason why.

“We have never had anyone like him,” Hofman said.

With his length and improved overall skill set, Beidleman had many ways of affecting games — most notably with shot blocking. He set a single-game program record with 10 in a non-league win over Sierra of Tollhouse, a rematch of the 2023 NorCal championship game. Beidleman then had nine blocks against rival Ripon — twice! His 130 blocks for the season is also a team record. He averaged 11.8 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.1 blocks.

Beidleman put all of his talents on display in the SJS Division V title game at UC Davis, torching Futures with 18 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks. He even surprised the opponent when taking — and making — a 3-pointer.

While Beidleman greatly improved his versatility offensively, he showed his elite skills as an all-around defender. In the Knights’ SJS semifinal with Bradshaw Christian, Beidleman was tasked with guarding 6-3 point guard Josh O’Neal, who was held scoreless with only one rebound and one assist in the first half.

“With Jace gone, I have to learn how to coach again,” Hofman joked. “Having a player like that is what I’m going to miss the most. It was just fun to watch someone like that play, and I had a great seat.”

Manteca’s girls team also had to replace some key pieces in the starting lineup, which included two guards and a center who were All-VOL first-team selections.

Izabella Sanchez returned, but the 6-1 standout was coming off a second major knee injury.

“In Jada’s junior year, we were loaded,” Manteca coach Oscar Calix said. “She just knew she had a lot of shoes to fill, so over the summer she really worked hard. We told her what she needed to work on, and she took it to heart. This year, she really showed what kind of player she can be. She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve coached, she’s in the weight room all the time, and I think that really showed this year.”

The 5-9 Ikharo had a jump in production across the board, leading the Buffaloes with 12.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game. An All-VOL Defensive Team selection as a junior, she earned first-team honors this year.

She came up big in back-to-back VOL wins over Sierra and Kimball, which Manteca beat by a combined six points that week. Ikharo netted 22 points, eight rebounds and eight steals at Sierra, and gave Kimball fits two nights later with her 24-point, 15-rebound outburst.

When her shots were not falling, Ikharo still had ways to impact games. She even had to battle through foul trouble, which was often the case during the postseason. The Buffs faced much-favored Vista del Lago in the SJS Division III final at Golden 1 Center, and Ikharo managed to produce 12 points, eight rebounds, four steals, two assists and two blocks in limited minutes.

“She really filled the stat sheet,” Calix said. “That just comes with her willingness to work hard. She didn’t want to lose, so she did everything that she could to help us win.

“She’s one of the best players I’ve coached at Manteca. She’s just tough. Whenever things got tough, she stuck it out and put her head down and became the leader we really needed.”

Here’s is the rest of the All-Area boys and girls basketball teams:

First Team Boys — G Luke Crivello, Ripon Christian, Sr.; F Dawson Downs, Ripon, Sr.; G Evani Gaeta, Manteca, Sr.; G Peyton Neiman, Manteca, Sr.; G Jake Vander Veen, Ripon Christian, So.

First Team Girls — PG Nylah Dyson, East Union, So.; C Donnese Payne, East Union, Sr.; F Shakara Porter, Lathrop, So.; G/F/C Izabella Sanchez, Manteca, Sr.; G/F Maddie Yonker, Ripon Christian, Sr.

Second Team Boys — GF/C Raymond Carson, Lathrop, Sr.; G Landon Gillespie, Ripon, Sr.; Anthony Grady, Sierra, Sr.; F Marcus Madoski, Ripon, Jr.; F Joshua Seals, Sierra, Sr.

Second Team Girls — G Mya Everett, Sierra, So.; G Emma Gilmore, Sierra, Sr.; G/F Kailee Inderbitzin, Ripon, Sr.; SG Tatiana Lowery, Lathrop, Sr.; C Reagan Van Der Hoek, Ripon Christian, Jr.