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MC HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Buffs fall short
Host team fends off Manteca; Ranch cruises to semifinals
Bulletin boys basketball 2018-19
Manteca’s Domonick Victor rises toward the hoop for a layup against Modesto Christian’s Devin Day (11) and Aaron Murphy (3) in a Holiday Hoop Classic quarterfinal Thursday. - photo by Photo By Sean Kahler

SALIDA — For the better part of three quarters, the Manteca High boys basketball squad kept within striking distance of host Modesto Christian in Thursday's second round of the Holiday Hoop Classic.
The Buffaloes cut the lead to two early in the fourth only to see the Crusaders respond with an 18-2 run.
Manteca (10-3) fell, 71-52, and will take on Foothill of Bakersfield today at 4:30 p.m.
Modesto Christian (8-3) will face Campolindo — which topped Foothill, 65-47 — at 6 o'clock.
"We played as good as we needed to (against the Crusaders)," Buffaloes coach Brett Lewis said. "I think we ran out of gas towards the end."
Manteca may have one of the most exciting players in the area in senior Domonick Victor, who more than held his own against the Georgian — as in the European country — twin 6-foot-8 towers of Tsotone Tsartsidze and Alex Merkviladze.
Towards the end of the first half, Victor, a high-flying 6-4 senior, showed his hops with an emphatic two-hand dunk following a missed 3 by Spencer Briscoe.
He and Miguel Sequeira came up with defensive stops in keeping the game close at the half — Victor had a big-time rejection, while Sequeira stripped the ball loose off an MC player on a drive to the basket.
The game was tied three times in the opening quarter before the Crusaders went on a 10-2 run highlighted by Tsartsidze's one-handed jam.
Victor kept Manteca close, drilling 3 and following that up with a dunk and jumper. From there, Rashawn Ballard and Jorge Cedano drove to the hoop for scores — Victor capped off the 10-3 run with his posterized jam, closing MC's advantage, 30-27.
Each time the Crusaders threaten to pull away, the Buffaloes responded with runs of their own.
Manteca twice pulled to within two in the second half, including Victor's up-and-under basket midway through the third and Cedano's drive between a pair of defenders early in the fourth.
In the end, MC used a balanced attack consisting of Michael Pearson, Earv Knox and Devin Day scoring 12 points each and Merkviladze chipping in with 10 — he and Tsartsidze finished with six and eight rebounds, respectively.
Victor had a game-high 18 to go with five boards, three blocks and a steal. Sequeira finished with nine points while Ballard and Cedano contributed eight and seven points, respectively, for the Buffaloes.

Weston Ranch 81, Turlock 46
The Cougars advanced in the winner's bracket of the Holiday Hoop Classic with their lopsided victory over the Bulldogs in the earlier game.
Donjae' Lindsey led the way with 17 points, and Gavin Wilburn and Lydell King poured in 13 and 12, respectively.
Sophomore guard Mi'Son Coilton continued his stellar play with 11 points, eight boards, two steals and two assists.
"We left a lot of points out there in the first half," said Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan. "In the second half, we played much better, sharing the ball and finding the open man.
"Lydell (King) gave us that spark."
Titus Haley was once again the facilitators for the Cougars (11-1), playing unselfishly while dishing out seven assists.
"This is a big tournament for us," he said. "We're a small and we we're here to establish (a good) reputation for Weston Ranch."
The Cougars flustered Turlock (7-7) with their speed and quickness early on, jumping out to a 23-12 first-quarter lead and quickly building that up to 32-17 following a 3 by Da'Quan Kelly.
Lindsey slashed his way to the basket for a pair of baskets and King delivered twice from 3-point range in the second quarter.
Weston Ranch later turned an already insurmountable 45-25 halftime lead to a 36-point cushion towards the end of the third.
By then, the Cougars were able to rest their starters while making preparations for today's 7:30 p.m. game with Vander, which took care of Clovis West, 69-66.

Ripon 71, Centennial 56
After dropping seven of their last eight, the Indians (5-8) are hoping they’re back on the right track after a commanding effort in consolation action.
They were never threatened by the Golden Hawks (5-10) of Bakersfield after taking a 15-6 first-quarter lead and took advantage of their size. Standout 6-foot-8, 250-pound center Vincent Olmo accumulated 28 points and 14 rebounds, while 6-4 forward Baz Cheema added 18 points, six boards and three assists. Nico Ilardi contributed 14 points and six rebounds.
Centennial relied on perimeter shooting for much of its points, draining nine 3s in all. Sophomore Ryan Redstone hit four of those 3s — three in the second quarter — and led three Golden Hawks in double figures with 15 points.
Ripon gets a chance at exacting revenge in the consolation semifinals today starting at 1:30 against Beyer, which downed the Indians 64-54 in overtime during Central Catholic’s Mark Gallo Invitational on Dec. 13.