Manteca is gearing up for its rematch with Valley Oak League-leading East Union, but the Buffaloes aren’t looking past any of their opponents until then.
They again took care of business on Tuesday, hammering reigning champion Kimball 67-48. It’s part of a tough stretch for Manteca (9-1 VOL, 15-8 overall), which held off Lathrop 46-39 on Monday after last Friday’s 74-56 loss to East Union.
“Kimball’s in third place, so it was a big game for us,” Manteca coach MaryAnn Tolbert said. “We wanted to come out here and fix things we needed to work on.”
Among the problem areas has been rebounding. The Buffaloes dominated the shorter Jaguars (5-5, 10-12) in that facet, out-rebounding them, 54-33.
Loretta Kakala had her way in the post and finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. Point guard Sydnee Fryer contributed 12 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Lejla Pepic tallied 15 points and four steals while draining three 3s. J.J. Santos (nine rebounds) and Aryana Martinez (five rebounds, four offensive) gave Manteca a boost in rebounding off the bench with Rhiannon Genilla sitting most of the game with foul trouble.
“Rebounding is still plaguing us a little bit,” Tolbert said. “We had girls out there working hard for rebounds today, but we’ve had a dip in our rebounding with our top three rebounders being out, other than Loretta.”
Brittney Hudson was one of 11 Kimball players to score and led the visitors with 11 points.
Manteca never trailed and started the game on a 10-2 run. Kimball scrapped to stay in it, as Bria Gorman (seven points) knocked down a 3 from the wing to close the Jaguars in 22-19 with 3:42 left in the second quarter.
The Buffaloes responded with an 8-2 rally at the end of the half to lead 34-23 at the break. Celina Burks’ late bucket in the fourth gave them their largest lead at 65-42.
Manteca travels to Sierra on Friday and Oakdale next Tuesday, Feb. 9
“Sierra is another big one for us,” Tolbert said. “Hopefully we have enough to make another run at East Union next Friday.”
Weston Ranch 59,
Asia Staups accounted for six of the Cougars’ 10 points in overtime, as Weston Ranch claimed its second win in its last three.
Cierra Jones and Staups led the way with 12 points apiece, and Vanessa Vega added 11. Sarah Bohrer topped all scorers with 24 points and hit two free throws in the final seconds of regulation to force the extra period.
Central Catholic 55,
A dominant third quarter proved to be the difference for the visiting Raiders (6-4, 15-7), who broke a three-way tie for third place.
Central Catholic outscored the Timberwolves (2-8, 10-13) 24-6 in the third quarter and was paced by Danielle Friedrich’s game-high 27 points. Megan Westfall recorded 11 points for Sierra.
Manteca 57, Kimball 28
Frankie Lopez hit three 3s and compiled 16 points, while Sarah Inderbitzin poured in 11 points as all nine Buffaloes contributed to the scoring.
Weston Ranch 44
The Mustangs held off visiting Weston Ranch despite Justice Stitt’s 21 points for the Cougars. She also made five 3-pointers
Manteca 38, Kimball 29
The Buffaloes broke away with a 15-6 flurry in the fourth quarter, when Adriana Valencia (eight rebounds) and Hazel Vera poured in six points apiece.
Kaitlyn Morenzone pulled down 15 rebounds for Manteca, which is alone in first place with a 9-1 record.