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Buffs shake off slow start to win 3rd straight game
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Elizabeth Aschenbrenner leads Mantecas fastbreak with Livingstons Maribel Valencia on her heels. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Livingston buried three 3-pointers to lead 9-0 at the start of its nonleague game at Manteca High’s Winter Gymnasium Friday night.

“I looked up (at the scoreboard) and the next thing I know we’re down 15-2,” Manteca coach MaryAnn Tolbert said.

They weren’t down for long. The host Buffaloes dominated the rest of the way and prevailed 55-47 for their third straight victory. It’s the first time they’ve won three in a row in two seasons.

Manteca, now 5-2, has shown improvement in the last week, but its coach would like to see a more complete effort from opening tip to final buzzer. On Tuesday, the Buffaloes (5-2) shot out to a 17-2 lead and held off former Valley Oak League foe Sonora, 45-44.

“They are starting to get a little more composure, but at times even when we are ahead they play like they are behind and push the ball up the floor in a hurry,” Tolbert said. “We have to keep focusing on taking control of the game no matter what the situation is, using the (shot) clock for 30 seconds and not throwing up bad shots right away.”

Manteca evened the score at 27-27 by halftime and raced away in the third when it outscored the Wolves (3-4), 17-8. The Buffaloes were able to slow down Sharn Sahota, who burned them for 11 points in the first quarter. She ended up leading all scorers with 23 points but was limited to just four made free throws in the fourth.

With only five Livingston players scoring, Manteca was more balanced. Sophomore guards Rubel Dehal and Lejla Pepic led the way with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Dehal was also responsible for shutting down Sahota on the defensive end in the second half. Leah Manuleleua and Aryanna Martinez each contributed eight points, as eight of the 10 Buffaloes suited up contributed to the score.

“That was nice to see,” Tolbert said. “We’re getting different players producing in different games. Aryanna also had nine rebounds. She really stepped up today and had her best game of the season.”

Amador Valley 58,
 Sierra 56

The Timberwolves (1-6) dropped their second two-point loss of the early season, but it was a promising effort against a competitive squad out of Pleasanton.

Kristen Maestretti scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half, while Kayla Wilson and Megan Westfall poured in 12 apiece. But Sierra had no answer for standout guard Ariah Mack, who paced the Dons (4-3) with 32 points.

“We played a great game tonight against a quality team,” Sierra coach Martha Spivey said. “We were able to put together four quarters, now we just need to find the consistency to do it every night.

Ripon Winter Classic

Ripon 44, Bret Harte 42

The Indians advanced to the championship game of their own tournament but nearly blew a 23-point lead in doing so. Bret Harte (3-6) outscored them 22-6 in the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t play very smart in the fourth quarter,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “But give them credit, they were ready to play in the fourth quarter and outplayed us.”

Zaire Davis spearheaded the Indians with 16 points, and Jill Jamero chimed in with 14. Bret Harte’s Amanda Chaney also scored 14 points.


Pitman 47,
Ripon Christian 22

Ripon Christian struggled on the offensive end in its winners-bracket semifinal at the Golden Valley Tournament.

Abby Buitrago had six points for the Knights, Kelly Engel scored four and five others ended up with just two apiece. They play for third place at noon today.

Sierra 41,
 Amador Valley 29

Down three at halftime, the Timberwolves used a 15-3 run in the third quarter to gain control of the ballgame.

Melanie Fox led the way with 12 points, Vanessa Padilla added seven and Lea Grutjen turned in six.