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No chance
TWolves hold Oakdale scoreless on way to rout
Sierra High defender Alysia Atkins closes out on an Oakdale shooter during Sierra’s scoreless defensive first quarter Tuesday against the Mustangs.
The Oakdale Mustangs did not know where to turn for a basket and the suffocating Sierra High defense did not help matters, holding the Mustangs scoreless through the first period in a 46-11 Valley Oak League blowout Tuesday.

Sierra (1-2 VOL, 9-5 overall) did not surrender a bucket through the game’s first 12 minutes, yielding its first points when Oakdale’s Gabriela Acosta made one of two free throws midway through the second quarter.

The Timberwolves offense was based around the inside play of Jordan Johnson and Alysia Atkins. The pair dominated on the offensive and defensive glass, giving Sierra more opportunities than they would need to put points on the scoreboard.

The group opened the second half just as energized, adding to their 23-7 halftime lead instantly behind the hot hand of senior Stephanie Vanni. Vanni connected on her first three 3-point attempts in the second half, eliminating any chances the Mustangs held on mounting a comeback.

“Stephanie is such a great kid,” Sierra head coach Stephan Unterholzner said. “It really is nice to see her get hot and put those shots in.

“Getting hot like that, it’s obvious that she’s pretty happy.”

Vanni connected on three consecutive 3-pointers, the third one pushing Sierra’s lead to 34-9. Defensively Sierra would not let up, holding the Mustangs to just two baskets the entire second half. The basket to get Oakdale into double-digits for the first time of the game came with less than one minute remaining in the contest.

Oakdale (1-2, 5-5) is playing its second contest without the services of the reigning VOL MVP in Cassandra Clark. Clark suffered a season-ending injury in a league game with Weston Ranch, leaving the Mustangs without their most viable scoring threat for the remainder of the year.

“I am not going to use that as an excuse,” Oakdale head coach Gary Smith said. “Let’s just say that I am very, very, very disappointed in my team’s effort.

“I think they kind of quit on themselves, and that’s very bothersome.”

Clark has been one of the league’s top scorers since her freshman season, and without her in the lineup Oakdale is not as talented a team.

“It is a huge difference without her out there,” Unterholzner said. “She is such a big part of that team; I think she was averaging like 24 points a game. You prepare for her, but you get relaxed when she’s not there.

“I feel bad for Gary, he’s a good coach, he just lost a lot of players.”

Atkins led the Timberwolves with 13 points, while Vanni finished with 11 including 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Johnson finished with six points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Sierra will be making the trip west to Tracy to take on the Kimball Jaguars Thursday at 7:15 p.m.