Sierra is likely on the outside looking in when it comes to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
The Timberwolves will find out for certain today when the brackets are released.
Needing a win to have a chance, they did their part Wednesday by knocking off visiting Oakdale 62-51. Locked in a three-way tie for third place and the final automatic berth coming into the Valley Oak League finale, the Timberwolves (8-6 VOL, 13-14 overall) also needed Lathrop to beat Manteca to guarantee a spot. Manteca instead completed a season sweep of the Spartans, who split with Sierra, with an 83-61 rout.
MaxPreps computer rankings give the T’wolves a glimmer of hope for an at-large berth, but that would require a top-12 finish in SJS Division III. They entered Wednesday’s contest at the No. 17 spot.
“I’m proud of the way the guys finished the year, but obviously it was not good enough,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said. “Ultimately, we got what we deserve. When you lose five home games in league we have no one to blame but ourselves.”
Oakdale (3-11, 10-18) upset Manteca last week and shot out to a 12-9 first-quarter lead Wednesday. Sierra pulled ahead 22-21 by halftime and needed a big lift from freshman forward Ryan Borgeson to garner control. He hit three 3s in each of the second and third quarters to finish with 18 points. Jaime Ochoa hit 11 of 12 free throws in the fourth and totaled 17 points. John Elijah contributed 12 points.
“I thought were a little too flat in the first half and I was disappointed in how we played,” Thomason said. “We lacked a competitive spirit and passion when we needed to come out with a competitive edge. In the second half we were much better. Ryan Borgeson hitting some big 3s kind of separated us with Jaime controlling the tempo and making good passes. We also played very good defense in the second half.”
Drew Legan paced Oakdale with 18 points.
Central Catholic 73, Weston Ranch 46
MODESTO — Central Catholic (14-0, 25-2) completed a perfect run through the VOL with an emphatic win against the league’s runner-up.
Quinton Booker, recently called up from the sophomore squad, made four 3s and led Weston Ranch (10-4, 18-9) with 12 points. It was a close game for most of the first half with the Cougars ahead 22-20 at one point, but the Raiders closed with an 11-0 run.
“We’re not getting a lot of consistency out of some of our top guys,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan said. “They’re proving they can do it in games, we just have to string them together to where confidence is building. Anytime you shoot like we did tonight against a team like that that’s what the score is going to look like.”
Kimball 69, East Union 43
The Lancers (0-14, 4-23) were unable to sustain a hot-shooting start after building a 17-15 lead.
They were held to 11 points in each of the next two quarters and just four in the fourth.
“We were attacking in the first quarter,” East Union coach Ryan Tarr. “Drew (Sena) was getting to the basket and setting up other guys for open 3s. We just started settling for jump shots that were not falling, and we missed a lot of easy buckets.”