The Manteca High Buffaloes aren’t likely to see another team like Lincoln anytime soon.
The visiting Trojans applied their relentless full-court press from the get-go, forcing turnovers while nailing 3-point buckets in bunches.
Manteca (0-1) fell in the non-league affair, 69-49.
“We also had moments of brilliance,” Buffaloes coach Mary Ann Tolbert said.
Her team kept the game close in the first half highlighted by junior guard Sydnee Fryer making her Manteca debut by burying a 22-foot trey. She missed all of last season with a knee injury.
“It felt great to be playing again,” said Fryer, who finished with 12 points. “I’m moving around with no pain.”
The Buffaloes were also caught up a fast-paced game as Lincoln (0-1) employed the likes of Lianna Tllman, Lauren Rabena, and Jaelee Anices to force the issue.
When they weren’t driving to the hoop, the Trojans swung the ball around for wide-open treys. They outshot Manteca from beyond the arc, 14-3.
“If you take away the 3s, we’re still in the game,” Tolbert said.
The Buffaloes opened the scoring with a nice interior pass to Leila Pepic for the lay-in. Lincoln answered back with four straight baskets and Taylor Low and Kiara Manipol warming it up from 3-point range.
Rabena and Anices then found the mark, adding to Lincoln’s outside shooting barrage.
By the half, Manteca trailed 42-28, committing 24 turnovers compared to Lincoln with just seven at that point.
The Buffaloes did close out the half with Rubel Dehal taking a pass from Elizabeth Tolbert for a 3. Pepic, who led Manteca in scoring with 15, connected on a pair of free throws.
Lincoln opened the second half with a pair of quick steals by Manipol and Rabena, who finished with 18 and 19 points, respectively.
The best run by the Buffaloes came midway in the fourth quarter. Behind 58-37 after three quarters, Manteca went on a 10-1 run to close the gap to 64-47 following Fryer’s steal for a bucket.
“We have to continue to work hard,” Fryer said. “We’re still learning to play together.”
Tolbert came away pleased with her team’s overall effort.
“They never quit,” she said. “They played hard and scrapped to the very end.”
Lincoln edged Manteca in the sophomore game, 55-52.