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Manteca shoots way out of early slump to beat Turlock
Legan buries 4 3-pointers, helps spark early spurt
Turlock-Manteca boys basketball
Manteca’s L.J. Legan (3) drives around Turlock’s Izaak Saenz. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

Manteca got off to a slow start Tuesday night, and then after pouring in seven points in the final 90 seconds of the first period never looked back in a 57-41 win over visiting Turlock in a non-league boys basketball contest.

“They did a good job of sagging on us and making us take contested shots early,” Buffaloes coach Jason Hitt said. “And then we started hitting our shots like we should. We should have gone inside more as we have been working on that lately. We have a bunch of good shooters and on any given night anyone can hit four of them, and tonight it was (L.J.) Legan.

“Our man-to-man defense is really good with this group. We have had them since freshman year and our coaching staff does a great job as we run our stuff all the way to the varsity level. Along with our man-to-man, rebounding is our bread and butter but we gave up too many offensive boards in the first half. This is a fun group. We needed this going into our tournament tomorrow.”

Legan (12 points) hit his first of four 3-pointers in the 9-2 run for Manteca (2-0) to end the first quarter.

“I felt good tonight,” Legan said. “My teammates found me. The got me where I could get the good shots.”

The Buffaloes outrebounded the Bulldogs (1-1) 26-17 with Micah Crawford grabbing nearly half of his team’s boards with 10.

“We did good boxing out tonight,” Crawford said. “I got a lot of tipped balls from my teammates.”

Manteca added three two players in double figures at 10 apiece for Peyton Nieman (four assists, three rebounds) and Evani Gaeta (three steals, two assists, two rebounds). Nieman’s layup following a coast-to-coast spurt after a steal ignited the Buffaloes’ spurt at the end of the first period and Gaeta had two of the 10 3-pointers for the Buffaloes.

Dutch Lawrence, Jeremiah Evans and Knoland Harris scored nine points apiece for Turlock with Evans hammering out four resounding blocks.

Manteca opens its Second-Annual Varsity Booster Club Tournament tonight at 7:30 against Golden Valley of Merced.


Junior varsity

Manteca 35, Turlock 30

The Buffaloes outscored the Bulldogs 11-2 in the third quarter.

Manteca’s Jeremiah Orona and Antonio Fraley each scored six points with Oroan getting his in the first half and Fraley notching his in the second.



Manteca 47, Turlock 41

Shahab Safi led the Buffaloes with 14 points and Madden Melendez chipped in nine.