Sierra can now center its focus on the big games to come after steamrolling Kimball 59-38 on Thursday.
The Valley Oak League co-leader is now 15-1 with an 11-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s much-anticipated showdown with powerhouse Modesto Christian in the MLK Showcase hosted by MC. The game tips off at 7:30 and is a rematch of the 2013 Sac-Joaquin Section Division III final won by the Crusaders, 66-54.
“We’re excited,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said. “We know it’s a challenge. They’re a big-time program with great players and it should be a good atmosphere. We’ll be ready to go.”
After that it’s on to another heavyweight matchup on Tuesday, when the Timberwolves welcome rival Manteca in a battle of 4-0 VOL teams.
During Thursday’s tune-up in Tracy, Sierra blew open a 21-4 lead in the first quarter and coasted after taking a 37-16 cushion into halftime. Jess Spivey scored 10 of his 16 points in the first, and Hunter Johnson shared game-high honors with 17 points. Joshua Patton contributed with 10.
Rubin Mann fired 17 for the Jaguars (2-2, 7-8).
“Our third quarter wasn’t very good,” Thomason said. “We came out sluggish and gave them some easy baskets, so I’m disappointed in the fact that we didn’t play 32 minutes. But it was otherwise a good, all-around effort.”
East Union 55
The Lancers (0-4, 6-11) appeared to be well on their way to snapping their five-game skid after sitting on a 15-point halftime cushion at Oakdale (1-3, 5-10), but they were outscored 44-18 over the final two periods.
“Coming off a tough loss Tuesday (63-61 at Lathrop), we challenged the guys before the game to play better defense,” East Union coach Ryan Tarr said. “We held them to 23 points in the first half, we just needed to sustain the effort in the second half and it wasn’t there. We’ve been scoring enough to win games but not getting it done on the defensive end.”
Cody Keener paced East Union with 18 points. Gyse Hulsebosch and Austin Miller turned in 14 and 12, respectively. Shane Baxter (18 points), Mitch MacDonald (16) and Octavio Padilla (14) were in double figures for the Mustangs.