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Manteca claims easy win over Buhach Colony; WR falls
Manteca High forward Dominique Barnes takes a jumper for two of his 15 points. Barnes also pulled down 17 rebounds in the Buffaloes’ 90-60 victory over Buhach Colony Friday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
TRACY – It didn’t take long for Manteca High to show the Buhach Colony Thunder who rules the hardwood.
During the third day of the 20th annual Tracy Winter Holiday Classic, Manteca used its potent offense to catch the Thunder on its heels and develop a lead of more than 20 points by the end of the first quarter – riding the early momentum to a 90-60 victory to avenge a loss the previous day to Golden Valley.
After Buhach Colony was spotted two points for a technical foul prior to the game, Manteca responded with a 25-0 run that set the tempo for the rest of the game.
And they did most of the damage without their best player.
With sophomore star Kiwi Gardner sitting out the majority of the first half due to illness, Manteca turned to other players – like efficient guard Ernie Pimentel and powerful big man Dominique Barnes – to carry the weight against a team that they scored more than 100 points on the last time they squared off.
“It’s always good to come out and score 90,” Manteca head coach Dave Asuncion said. “We knew coming in that we had an advantage inside, and the nice thing is with Kiwi (Gardner) ill we were able to have guys step up fill that role.”
Right out of the gate, Pimentel accounted for Manteca’s first three field goals, while Barnes established the dominance in the paint that would lead to his 17 rebound total.
Barnes also didn’t fare so poorly when he himself had the chance to take the shot.
In the first period he racked up four field goals en route to a 15-point night – complementing Pimentel’s offensive production that included in 19 points as well as two rebounds and two assists.
“Everything just came together for us offensively tonight,” Barnes said. “This is really the first game where we’ve had everyone in sync on offense, and I think that it showed out there.
“When it comes to defense we’re still working on that, but we definitely had it on offense tonight.”
Despite getting a late start on the game, Gardner still managed to wow both the crowd and the Buhach defense with his quick ball-handling skills and ability to find the open shot – finishing with 11 points, a rebound, and an assist in what was essentially only one half of play.
Manteca (9-2) will play Livingston today at West for fifth place. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Los Banos 54, Weston Ranch 51
Despite being down by as many as 10 points, the Cougars still found a way to claw back into the running before running out of gas.
While the Tigers were able to outscore Weston Ranch throughout the first half, the all-around play by Charray Poole and Nathan Moises kept the Cougars within a respectable distance.
The game hit its crescendo with 25 seconds remaining and a 52-51 score that had the crowd at West high on the edge of its seat waiting to see what happened.
“We came out in the second half and took care of the ball, and ball management is everything,” Weston Ranch head coach Ryan Bono said. “But it turned out to be too little too late.
“I think we played well in the second half especially for being as young of a team as we are, and this is one of those games that’s going to prepare those guys for future battles.”
The loss drops Weston Ranch to 3-6 on the season. The Cougars take the court again today in their final game of the tournament at 9 a.m.

— Jason Campbell