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Manteca succumbs to Vikings pressing D
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FAIRFIELD — With head coaching duties split between assistant coach Garrett Tolman, boys head coach Dave Asuncion and athletic director Ron Inderbitzin, Manteca High’s girls basketball team struggled to keep up with highly-favored Vanden in a 71-25 loss in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs Tuesday.

Head coach Andrea Hiatt gave birth to her son last Friday and was unavailable to lead her team Tuesday.

“It was definitely interesting,” Tolman said. “It was a lot different for both me and the girls. (Hiatt) has been coaching this program for quite a few years now and she knows what she’s doing, so it was a challenge for us.”

The challenge that No. 4 Vanden (24-4) presented on the court was enough to make the outgunned Buffaloes (17-11) buckle early.

The Vikings pressed their way to a 36-16 halftime lead and turned their play up a notch in the third when they outscored Manteca, 28-7.

Manteca’s guards were hassled into turnovers all night. Junior Sharon Washington, the team’s leading season scorer, was held to just three points, while freshman Mikayla Hasal had just two. The Buffaloes scored most of their points inside, where senior forward Davina Bennett ended up with 10 and reserve center Dallas Mould contributed eight.

“They just came out of halftime on fire,” Tolman said. “They went on a 17-0 run at the beginning of the quarter. We definitely hadn’t faced a team that gave us that much trouble with their press before.”

Vanden star Erimma Amarikwa, a 6-foot-1 junior wing, led all scorers with 20 points. Jozlynn Case and Jessica Ayers chipped in 10 each.

Vanden will play host to No. 5 El Camino or No. 12 Patterson in the quarterfinals Thursday.

“We hate to see the season end but we had a good time, and overall we’re pretty happy with how we did this season,” Tolman said.

— Jonamar Jacinto