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ROUNDUP: Buffs boys hoops open with win
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The Manteca High boys basketball team is off to a winning start in its pandemic-shortened season, throttling visiting rival Sierra 66-37 Thursday at Winter Gym.

The Buffaloes were led by Nick Bell, who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds after Sierra smothered the 6-foot-4 forward in the first half and limited him to just two points. Modesto Christian transfer Trey Moreland added 17 points and five assists, making 4 of 7 3-pointers. 

“They did a good job in the first half on Bell,” Manteca coach Jason Hitt said. “He got a little frustrated but got rolling in the third quarter.”

Manteca broke away with a 10-0 run in the third, exploding for 21 points in the period. It extended a seven-point halftime lead into a commanding 50-32 cushion. The Timberwolves were then held to just five points in the fourth as Buffs made good use of their press defense.

Justice Chase added 12 points and nine rebounds. Jake Wirstlin contributed 11 points, knocking down three 3s. Ryan Borgeson began his fourth varsity season for Sierra, leading his team with 14 points.

“It was a good first game,” Hitt said. “Hopefully we can build off of this and play a little better tomorrow.”

Sierra hosts the rematch tonight. 

Manteca also won the junior varsity game 83-22 and freshman, 60-20.

Ripon Christian 58, Oakdale 48

Upset-minded Oakdale led 28-26 at halftime and managed to stay within reach of the host team thanks to 10 made 3-pointers.

The reigning NorCal Division VI champion Knights were too much in the post, however, as fourth-year standout Braden Van Groningen poured in a game-high 20 points. He was supported by guards Will Gilbert (13 points) and Lukas Van Groningen (12 points).

Johnathan Kraude paced the Mustangs with 14, Jonah Norman registered 11 and Tanner Cusano had 10.


Lathrop 49, Grace Davis 47

Kierstin Constantino made 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute to help Lathrop escape Modesto with the victory in its Western Athletic Conference opener. 

Constantino ended with a game-high 17 points, and Crispa Ballesteros had eight. Belen Ruiz and Daylin Macias spearheaded Grace Davis with 14 and 12 points, respectively. The two teams will match up again tonight in Lathrop.

East Union 63, Weston Ranch 32

The reigning Valley Oak League champion Lancers used a balanced scoring effort and a 26-point burst in the fourth quarter to race away with the road win.

Kyshanti King and Taylor Snaer shared game-high honors with 13 points, matching Weston Ranch’s Lea’zea Smith. Lauren Pablo contributed with 10, Jannier Ismerio had nine and Faith Murphy eight.

Kimball 46, Ripon 36

In Tracy, Autumn Harris scored all of Kimball’s 11 points in the third quarter and wound up with 19.

The Indians countered with Kaylee Hutchinson’s 13 points and seven rebounds. Gabby Delgado added 10 points. Kiley Holland tallied six points and six boards.


Ripon Christian 5, Central Catholic 4

The Knights (4-4) continue to hold their own in the VOL, stunning the 2019 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV finalist in Modesto. They scored twice in the top of the seventh for a two-run lead.

Freshman Dustin Hoekstra was the winning pitcher after striking out five in 5 2/3 innings. Caleb Terpsma took it from there to lock down the save. They combined for a five-hitter.

Offensively, Jacob Kowes was 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Joseph DeBruyn finished 2 for 3 with a run, and Terpsma went 2 for 4 with a double, RBI and two runs. Micah English added a two-run double. 

Oakdale 7, Weston Ranch 1

The Cougars (1-8 VOL) dropped their eighth straight but had a solid effort from freshman pitcher Ayden Tinsley, who threw 5 1/3 innings.

Andrew Montano knocked in Weston Ranch’s lone run in the first inning, ending 2 for 3 with a triple. 

Lathrop 7, Patterson 6

Jarrin Harrell finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs and came through with the walk-off hit for the Spartans.

Noah Martinez was the winning pitcher after striking out three over the final three innings. He also drove in a pair of runs. Jasper Tover went 2 for 4 and scored twice.


Sierra 3, Kimball 2

The Timberwolves (2-0-0 VOL) held on for the win in Tracy after holding a two-goal lead at halftime.

Adrian Ramirez did the early damage, scoring in the sixth and 12th minutes. He exited the game in the second half after taking an elbow to the face and having a tooth knocked out.

Emmanuel Ruiz accounted for Sierra’s third goal. AJ Paz dished out two assists and Diego Lopez had one. 

East Union 3, Weston Ranch 1

Chris Avila, Giovanni Perez and Anthony Sy struck for the visiting Lancers who improved to 2-0 in the VOL and 4-0 overall. Avila also had an assist, as did Cristian Perez and Miguel Martin. 

Sophomore Ivan Guerra scored Weston Ranch’s lone goal.

JV girls basketball

Lathrop 53, Grace Davis 28

Freshman Tatiana Lowery debuted with 19 points, Kalani Soriano fired 11 and Taimane Lowery posted eight in the lopsided victory.