Manteca (28-6) will take on Southern California champion Ayala of Chino Hills (34-3) in the CIF State Division III final Thursday at Sleep Train Arena at 4 p.m. Here’s a look at how the Buffaloes will match up against the Bulldogs, a team that bears a striking resemblance to the 2014-15 Weston Ranch Cougars.
Dwight Young, junior, guard: The sharpshooter shouldn’t have a problem sizing up his defensive assignment. Ayala’s Oscar Pina, a 6-foot senior, has some of the same talents as Young, most notably his ability hit from beyond the three-point arc.
Tydus Verhoeven, junior, guard: On most nights, senior John Edgar, a 6-foot-5 transfer from Chino Hills (yes, that Chino Hills), is a matchup problem for the opposition. Verhoeven will have a considerable height and reach advantage on the Southern California Division II-AA Player of the Year, who is more slasher than shooter.
Angel Perez, senior, guard: The Buffaloes’ defensive specialist will get his toughest test yet – Cal State Fullerton-bound guard Austen Awosika, who had 42 points, seven assists and six rebounds in two victories last week. Awosika chose Fullerton over Pepperdine, Cornell and UC Santa Barbara.
Kenny Wooten, senior, forward: The Nevada-bound senior and his unique physical skills will be tested by undersized forward Mile President and his cunning. With his near-perfect test scores, the 6-3 President may be just that one day. Until then, he’ll look to attack Manteca from the wings.
Anand Hundal, senior, center: Ayala’s small-ball style of play will demand a lot of the plodding 6-9 center. By spreading out the Buffaloes, Hundal likely will find himself near the perimeter trying to crowd 6-foot guard Sean Paul’s shooting window.
CIF STATE BASKETBALL
- D-V girls – Village Christian vs. Eastside College Prep, 10 a.m.
- D-V boys – St. Bernard vs. St. Joseph Notre Dame, noon
- D-III girls – Lakeside vs. Sacred Heart Cathedral, 2 p.m.
- D-III boys – Ayala vs. Manteca, 4 p.m.
- D-I girls – Brea Olinda vs. St. Francis, 6 p.m.
- D-I boys – Crespi Carmelite vs. Berkeley, 8 p.m.
- D-IV girls – Antelope Valley vs. Cardinal Newman, 10 a.m.
- D-IV boys – Harvard-Westlake vs. Palma, noon
- D-II girls – Cajon vs. Elk Grove, 2 p.m.
- D-II boys – Long Beach Poly vs. Junipero Serra, 4 p.m.
- Open Division girls – Chaminade vs. Miramonte, 6 p.m.
- Open Division boys – Chino Hills vs. De La Salle, 8 p.m.
Tickets are available through TicketMaster or at the Sleep Train Arena box office. Ticket prices start at $16 for adults and $10 for seniors (65 and older), children (5 and older) and students with a valid ASB card.
How they got here
A look at the Manteca High boys basketball team’s road to Thursday’s CIF State Division III final against Ayala of Chino Hills:
d. Saint Mary’s (Albany), 73-45
d. Lincoln (Stockton), 59-54
d. Gregori, 53-33
d. St. Mary’s (Stockton), 70-56
d. Foothill (Sacramento), 59-46
d. Bradshaw Christian, 60-58
d. Elk Grove, 54-51
d. Turlock, 57-32
d. Freedom, 79-76
l. Modesto Christian, 59-43
l. Centennial, 62-49
d. El Camino Real, 66-63
d. Lathrop, 58-51
d. Sierra, 67-49
d. Kimball, 67-40
l. Weston Ranch, 72-68
d. Berkeley, 76-74 (2OT)
d. Oakdale, 62-32
d. Central Catholic, 68-55
d. Lathrop, 79-43
l. Weston Ranch, 67-62
d. East Union, 62-47
d. Kimball, 74-40
l. Sierra, 58-52
d. Oakdale, 62-12
d. East Union, 57-34
d. Central Catholic, 54-53
Sac-Joaquin Section D-III playoffs
d. El Capitan, 70-53
d. Lincoln (Lincoln), 68-38
d. Vista del Lago, 74-58
l. Weston Ranch, 69-57
CIF Northern California D-III playoffs
d. Albany, 59-52
d. Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco), 60-54
d. Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland), 70-45