Both Kimball (12-5, 3-1 VOL) and Manteca (10-5, 4-0) moved the ball quickly to create scoring opportunities.
Defense also helped the Jaguars create changes, as junior Noni Kuumba and sophomore Sarah Nunes were the core of the Jaguars’ press with seven steals between them. Kuumba also blocked four shots.
Manteca countered with senior wing Courtney Range, who put her team in control of the boards with 22 rebounds.
Kuumba said that Range, who previously played for St. Mary’s High of Stockton, would be the player to stop.
“I told my team they had to be ready for her,” Kuumba said. “She’s big, and she likes to shoot out from the 3-point line, and just to box her out.”
The Buffaloes hit big shots at the right times to keep the game out of Kimball’s reach, including a string of 3-pointers at the start of the second half as Manteca surged ahead, 43-22.
The Jaguars still outscored the Buffaloes 32-31 in the second half, with Kuumba totaling 10 points in the fourth quarter alone. She was the game’s scoring leader with 20 points, including two 3-pointers.
Nunes scored nine points for the Jaguars, and sophomore Alexis Clark and senior Megan Bhathal added eight each.
Range scored 19 for the Buffaloes, and junior Jessica Hasal hit three 3-pointers and totaled 14 points.
Manteca coach Cody Norman told his girls that Kimball, with mostly sophomores among the starters, can’t be underestimated.
“The scary thing is that they’re young,” he said. “Our girls took it upon themselves to focus in, more so than in the past.”
Tracy 61, Lodi 26
Tracy’s girls stayed atop the San Joaquin Athletic Association on Thursday, Jan. 10, with a decisive win over the visiting Lodi Flames.
The Bulldogs (11-7, 2-0 SJAA) charged out to a 37-10 lead at the half, and still outscored the Flames (3-13, 0-2 SJAA) in the second half after Tracy dialed back its offense.
Senior Shelby Perry led Tracy’s offense with 13 points, senior guard Emily Anchartechahar added 12, and senior guard Taylor Juarez scored 11.
The Bulldogs travel to Stockton on Tuesday, Jan. 15, to face Lincoln for possession of first place in the SJAA.
West 50, Tokay 24
The Wolf Pack took an early lead over the Tokay Tigers and stayed in control to win at home on Thursday, Jan 10.
West (10-9, 1-1 Tri-City Athletic League) had a 28-7 halftime lead, and while the Tigers (1-13, 0-2) got back in the game in the second half, they were unable to close in on West.
Leading the way for the Wolf Pack was junior Nini Woodward with 13 points and seven rebounds. Senior Emma Bell scored nine, senior Ileyah Costa contributed seven points and nine steals, and freshmen Lyric Wilson and Brittney Reyes scored six each.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.