Some say that since Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation Games do not count in a team’s overall record, they do not matter very much. Do not tell that to Xavier Hartfield.
Manteca’s four-year manager got to don a uniform Tuesday, and although he did not score he was very much involved in the Buffaloes’ 43-39 win over Ripon at Winter Gymnasium.
“This felt great,” Hartfield said. “I played some good defense and almost made a 3-point shot.”
Manteca coach Dave Asuncion was glad he could give Hartfield an opportunity.
“Xavier has been in the program for four years as a manager,” Asuncion said. “He is a great kid. He does everything we ask him to do without hesitation. We told him he could pick whatever jersey he wanted and since we still have guys playing football he had plenty to choose from.”
Although the Buffaloes hit six 3-pointers, Ascuncion sees plenty of room for improvement.
“We have a lot of things to work on,” Asuncion said. “We are going to get better each game and keep improving. We have a long way to go.”
Frankie Lopez (eight points) and Miguel Lopez (six points) each had two from behind the arc for Manteca. Teammate T. J. Muhar led all scorers with 15 points.
Although the Indians closed the gap at the end, Ripon never led.
“You just have to feel it out and see what you have,” Indians coach Rod Wright said. “It is good to get on a live floor with officials rather than a scrimmage or a summer match up.”
Massimo Robbins led the Indians with 12 points.
Manteca did not fare near as well in the girls contest and were held to single digits in every quarter, losing 46-20 to Ripon.
“We are just green,” Buffaloes coach Cody Norman said. “It’s a process and we are still really early in the process.”
The Indians’ Morgan Carrico led all scorers with 12 points and Manteca’s Jessica Hasal trailed closely with 10 points behind two 3-pointers.
“I think the game went well for the first night,” Carrico said. “Hopefully this first game will set us up for the season to come.”
Ripon coach George Contente was pleased with the end result and the way his players are progressing.
“We are pleased with the outcome,” Contente said. “We have young guards and are developing every day.”
Ripon Christian 55, East Union 48
Tied at 36-all to start the fourth quarter, Ripon Christian outscored the host Lancers 19-k12 to run away with it in crunch time. The Knights drained 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to help their cause, while EU didn’t attempt a single shot from the stripe.
East Union did much of its damage in the post, as returning center Jake Danhoff lost 46-20 top riponhoff poured in a game-high 23 points and Clay Cuneo added nine. Guard Andrew Ruiz chipped in with 10.
Sean Broker paced RC with 19 points, and sophomore Travis Vander Molen had 11.
Lathrop 31, Pacheco 29
Host Lathrop managed to come out on the winning end despite getting shut out in the third quarter.
Desiree Mendola (six points) converted a buzzer-beating put-back to win it for the Spartans. Akilah Lesley helped set up the winning play by burying a key 3-pointer that pushed Lathrop ahead by one late.
Third-year center Loreal Taylor led all Spartans with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
— Jonamar Jacinto contributed to this report