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Cougars unable to hold big lead

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POSTED January 5, 2018 1:27 a.m.

STOCKTON — It was a tale of two halves for the Weston Ranch High Cougars.

In the first half of Thursday’s Valley Oak League contest against visiting Oakdale, they could do no wrong, taking a one point an 18-point lead.

But the Mustangs bounced back in the final two quarters, winning, 51-46.

“Turnovers and missed layups are what killed us,” said Weston Ranch coach Darrell Johnson.

Couple that with the Mustangs getting hot from long range, with Grace Higle, Sarah Bohrer, and Alicia Platt delivering on a pair of 3s each, in turn erasing the Cougars’ 32-15 halftime lead.

“We made an adjustment to our zone after that by doing a better job of closing out,” Johnson said.

By then, Oakdale (1-1 VOL, 8-6 overall) had just enough momentum to pull off the come-from-behind victory.

Johnson indicated that his got away from sharing the ball.

Weston Ranch (0-2, 2-12) got off to a torrid start, getting inside on the Mustangs thanks to some nice passing from Diarri Ross, Justine Stitt, and Jennalyn Laminero.

They helped setup Damaysha Huff, Asani White and Stitt, who finished with a game-high 17.

Huff chipped in with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

The Cougars scored 13 unanswered points in that first quarter, making it 21-3 after Laminero’s layup.

Bohrer helped the Mustangs chip away at the lead by hitting seven of her team-high 16 points before the break.

Weston Ranch committed just four turnovers in that first half. By contrast, the Cougars turned the ball over 11 times.

As for layups, they missed 26 during the game.

Bohrer gave Oakdale its first lead since shortly after the opening tip-off at the midway mark of the fourth, 42-39.

Weston Ranch twice came back to tie things up on baskets by Huff and Ross.

Platt put the Mustangs ahead for good at 1:11 in the fourth, hitting a short jumper.

Higle did the rest, connecting on five of her seven free throws in the final minute. She hit for 15 points for game, while Platt had eight.

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