STOCKTON — Although the game was out of reach Friday night, Manteca’s Tydus Verhoeven slammed home the exclamation point in the fourth quarter.
As part of an 11-4 Buffaloes run to start the fourth period, Verhoeven had back-to-back resounding dunks to help lead Manteca to a 65-48 Valley Oak League win over host Weston Ranch and keep the Buffaloes undefeated in league play.
“The game sped up tonight,” Verhoeven said. “We like getting up and down and when that happens we have guys that can attack, shoot the ball and space and then we start making plays for each other.”
Verhoeven notched a triple-double with 18 points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocks. Teammate Gino Campiotti led all scorers with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
“We started strong and then we kind of let them back in the game for a minute,” Campiotti said. “But our guys never gave up.
“As a team we have been playing well recently. We separated in the second half and there was too much for them to come back.”
Manteca (11-0 VOL, 19-5 overall) rolled to a 31-16 halftime lead. The Cougars (6-5, 14-10) used a 19-point third quarter to come with 38-32 late in the period only for the Buffaloes to close the quarter on a 9-3 run before pulling away in the final period.
“Defensively I think we played well,” Manteca coach Brett Lewis said. “Except for the third quarter when we gave up 19.
“This was a good playoff environment. That is a 10-seed basketball team – they are no slouch – and the fact that we were able to separate ourselves a little bit tells a lot about where we are right now and we like that.”
Dwight Young added 10 points for Manteca and Kyle Bolding had nine points behind three 3-pointers.
Daniel Elendu and Makhi Turner paced the Cougars with 12 points each. Gavin Wilburn (six rebounds, two blocks) added eight points and Raul Melgarejo (eight rebounds, three blocks) had seven points.
“From the tip, we didn’t match physicality,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan said. “We weren’t strong with the ball.
“A lot of that has to do with Manteca – you have to give them credit. They are in first place for a reason but again, we didn’t match physicality early. We got it going there late but a couple of things didn’t go our way, but give credit to them.”
Weston Ranch 52
Dylan Gross had 20 points for the Buffaloes and T.J. Singh added 13.
The Cougars’ Amiel Adams led all scorers with 25 points and teammate Christian Cueves chipped in 13.
Weston Ranch 77
The two teams combined for seven players who hit double figures in the shootout.
Jordan Burciaga had a double-double for the Buffaloes with 34 points and 18 rebounds, leading all scorers. Jacob De Jesus added 15 points for Manteca followed by Spencer Briscoe with 14 and Garren Genilla with 12.
Curtis Green paced the Cougars with 24 points. Lydell King chipped in 17 points and Lawrence Hillary 12.