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Injured guard helps Buffs overcome pesky Livingston in OT
Jasmine Odell goes up for two of her team-leading 18 points during the first quarter of Manteca Highs overtime win over visiting Livingston on Tuesday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

Cody Norman had quite the dilemma in just his second game as Manteca High’s girls basketball coach Tuesday.

Does he leave four-year point guard Mikayla Hasal on the bench with a sprained ankle, or unleash the Cal State Stanislaus-bound standout and improve the team’s chances of avoiding defeat against visiting Livingston?

Hasal did not enter the contest until there was 2:25 remaining in regulation, and she helped them escape with a 69-67 overtime victory.

“She rolled her ankle pretty bad in Saturday’s practice, so I didn’t want to play her at all,” Norman said. “She said it was feeling better every day, but I still didn’t want to risk hurting it more. When it came down to that point to where I can go without her or see what she can do I decided to go with it and it worked out in the end.”

Jasmine Odell flirted with a quadruple-double, pacing Manteca (1-1) with 18 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and nine steals. Hasal finished with eight points, while her sister, Jessica, turned in 14 to go with six steals. Scrappy post player Abigail Behler was also instrumental for Manteca, grinding out nine points to go with 12 rebounds and five steals.

Manteca is already without its top player, Courtney Range, who has to sit out 30 days due to the California Interscholastic Federation’s new transfer rule. And third-year senior Odell did not start after missing practices and Manteca’s season-opening loss at West for science camp last week.

“We’ve been dealing with some issues so we haven’t been able to get into our motion yet,” Norman said. “I’m hoping that fourth quarter and overtime is what propels us.”

Livingston (3-6) went on an 8-0 run after Mikayla Hasal checked in, but she and Jessica made big plays to force overtime.

Mikayla jump started the comeback with a transition basket, and Jessica drained a 3-pointer with 38 seconds to go. Moments later Jessica’s steal and fast-break assist to Mikayla tied it at 58-all with 10 seconds left in regulation.

Roles were reversed near the end of overtime, as Jessica Hasal buried a bucket in transition off a long feed from Mikayla with, of course, 10 seconds remaining.

It was a thrilling finish, but otherwise a sloppy game, as the two teams combined for 73 turnovers.

“It shows that this is only our second game — we’re still working out the kinks,” said Norman, whose team was responsible for 37 of those turnovers. “We played our first game last Wednesday and we waited almost a whole week for our next game, so it’s kind of hard to see if we’re making positive adjustments in practice or staying the same. We’re getting tested which is good, that’s what preseason is for, but there is still we have to work on.”

The Wolves were led by Ashlee Sharp’s 28 points and 14 rebounds. She fouled out with 58.6 seconds left in overtime with her team ahead, 67-65. Reserve guard Natalie Bertalotto contributed 17 points, but the team committed too many unforced turnovers late in the fourth and overtime periods.

“You’re either winning or you’re learning. Unfortunately, there were some key situations that we were in that we are going to have to learn from,” Livingston coach Raymond Maravilla said. “If we are in that situation again down the road, hopefully we make better choices and pull out the win.”


Livingston 50, Manteca 33

The visiting Wolves led 27-7 at halftime and cruised to victory.

Chelsea Gomez had nine points for Manteca, which also got 15 rebounds from Alyssa Burch.


Manteca 52, Livingston 21

The Buffaloes improved to 5-0 behind Aryana Martinez’s 12 points and 15 rebounds. Leah Manuleleua added eight points and 10 boards. Celina Burks and Shawntae Kidd also chipped in eight points apiece.