Imagine a starting lineup of a returning section semifinalist high school boys basketball team with three players at 6-foot-7 or taller. A little bit intimidating, isn’t it?
Now imagine all three of them are All-Area, if not All-Section caliber players, two of whom are related and have played AAU basketball together?
For any opponents in the Valley Oak League and Sac-Joaquin Section, that should be downright terrifying.
And thus, Manteca boys basketball hopes to strike fear in the hearts of its opponents this coming season, and then strike down those same opponents with authority.
The Buffaloes feature returning senior forward Anand Hundal (6-9), a second-team All-Area pick and the No. 2 shot blocker in the state a year ago. Then there’s Kenny Wooten, a 6-8 senior and transfer from Stagg, who had to sit out his junior season. He’s a double-double waiting to happen and led the Delta Kings to the section playoffs as a sophomore.
Finally, there’s 6-7 junior Tydus Verhoeven, a guard-forward-wing hybrid who should be more polished and nearly unstoppable offensively as an upperclassman. The three of them combine with Lincoln transfer Dwight Young and returners Frankie Lopez and Tyler Graves-Kelso to make an instant section championship contender.
For the record, it would be Manteca’s first since 1987. And second year coach Brett Lewis, an East Union grad, hopes to be playing at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento this March.
Manteca boys basketball is without a doubt one of my Ten Teams to Watch in 2015-16.
Last season, the Buffaloes earned the No. 5 seed in the Division III playoffs, and advanced to the semifinals before being smacked by VOL and intradistrict foe No. 9 Weston Ranch by 20 points.
In that game, Manteca’s energy was lacking at time, and its size advantage morphed into a speed advantage for Weston Ranch. But this will be a much better team, and hopefully for Lewis, an angrier team after that loss. Plus, Manteca lost two close league games to four-time defending VOL champion, last year’s Div. III section champion and NorCal semifinalist Sierra, the arch rival.
CONNECT WITH THOMAS LAWRENCE
Facebook: Thomas Lawrence
Ask a Question: ask.fm/RecordPreps