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Third quarter collapse costs Manteca in semis
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TURLOCK – The opportunity was there, but Manteca High was unable to take advantage.

The Buffaloes walked into the locker room all knotted at 36-36 with Sac-Joaquin Section powerhouse Modesto Christian, but a lava-hot Crusader third quarter proved to be the difference in Manteca’s 87-73 loss to MC.

The Buffaloes established themselves with a strong first half, leading Modesto Christian after the first period of play. The depth of Modesto Christian provided the difference down the stretch, as the Crusaders found five players with double-digits in the scoring column.

“We were leading after the first quarter, but then they were able to come on strong and take advantage of a couple of easy buckets,” Manteca head coach Dave Asuncion said. “They had some big guards and they were able to get to the rim almost at will it seemed like.”

Manteca nailed a huge basket to close out the first half, when Ernie Pimentel nailed a three to gift-wrap the Buffaloes momentum heading into the locker room. Only the basket, seemingly kick-started the Crusader offense as they pulled away from Manteca with a 29-19 third period.

“They started off that third quarter bang, bang, bang,” Asuncion said. “It was a quick 6-0 run and I really felt that they caught us off guard.”

Manteca got its customary standout showing from junior guard Kiwi Gardner who led all scorers with 30 points. Teammate Gerry Cooper chipped in 12, while Pimentel finished with 11. Manteca will try and close out the Godinez Tournament with a win as they battle in the third place game, tipping off at 6:30 p.m.

Mark Macres Tournament
Weston Ranch 53, Florin 52
ELK GROVE — The Cougars got their season on track behind a last second free throw from Nathan Moises. Moises drove to the lane, pulled up for an 8-footer to win the game when he was fouled by a Florin defender with just four-tenths of a second remaining in regulation. Moises calmly went to the line, sinking the first shot before missing the second intentionally to seal the deal.

“I had complete confidence in him, Nathan is a good shooter,” Weston Ranch head coach Ryan Bono said. “I had all the confidence in the world that he would make that shot.”

Moises finished the contest with 13, while teammate Ronnie Collins added a game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Cougars.

Weston Ranch (1-3) will look to build on the tournament win as they close out play with a 5 p.m. consolation championship against Reno High.

“Our team is beginning to come together,” Bono said of his group. “I was really proud of our bench (Friday), they were in the game the entire time, everybody’s beginning to learn that basketball is about family and coming together to win.

“They are taking the steps to get there, hopefully we can continue to  build on that.”

Galt Warrior Classic
McClatchy 55, Ripon Ch. 42
GALT – After heading into the halftime intermission tied at 22-22, the Knights were unable to finish the job, dropping their semi-final matchup with McClatchy High 55-42 in the Warrior Classic.

Tyler Goslinga backed up an impressive 34 point-effort the previous contest with a team-high 16 point effort Friday. Logan Vos made his presence felt with 14 points, while Dan Van de Pol and Steve Vander Molen both chipped in five.

The Knights will try and close out the tournament with the third place honors when they battle the loser of the Lodi-Galt semi-final matchup.

Non League
Johansen 74, Sierra 63
The Timberwolves put up a fight, but could not keep pace with the Johansen Vikings, falling 74-63 in the two clubs’ non league action.

Sierra (2-3) received another dominant performance from Trevor Nogueira who turned in a game-high 25 points. Teammate William Ward added 12 in the loss.

Sierra will be back on the hardwood Wednesday when they play host to the Trans Valley League’s Ripon Indians at 7 p.m.
— Jagada Chambers