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No. 1 Dragons burn outclassed Cougars

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POSTED February 26, 2009 4:54 a.m.
SACRAMENTO — All No. 16 Weston Ranch got out of Wednesday’s 91-49 loss to top-seeded Sacramento in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs was needed postseason experience.
The disparity in playoff experience was evident at the start, as the junior-heavy Cougars (13-14) spotted Sacramento (21-6) the game’s first 11 points.
The Dragons are the favorites to capture the section’s Division III title after winning the California Interscholastic Federation Northern California Regional Championships title last year and San Diego State-bound guard Chase Tapley returning.
“This just showed that we don’t have playoff experience,” Weston Ranch coach Ryan Bono said. “I have two players, Ronnie (Collins) and Derrick (Sykes) with playoff experience. Ronnie showed it. He was poised and played well for us, but as a whole we were just timid out there.
“It’s a different level of basketball at this point, so hopefully my 10 juniors can gain something from this.”
Collins paced the Cougars with 13 points and eight rebounds. Jason Steele contributed eight points, five assists and five rebounds.
Weston Ranch’s top two players, Nate Moises and Sykes, were limited to a combined nine points, but Bono said their efforts were concentrated on the defensive end.
Moises “had the privilege,” as Bono put it, of guarding Tapley, who had 29 points. Sykes was on Arizona State commit Josiah Turner, a sophomore point guard considered to be one of the best in the state.
Turner left the game early in the second with a wrist injury, finishing with four points. Travon Abraham, a 5-foot-8-inch guard, added 18 points for Sacramento.
“(Moises and Sykes) had their hands full to say the least,” Bono said.
Weston Ranch was able to shake off the early jitters and trailed 21-12 after a quarter of play. But the Dragons broke it open with 27 points in the second.
The Cougars were plagued by 18 turnovers in the first half, and Sacramento hurt them on the boards and gobbled up 25 rebounds off the offensive glass.

— Jonamar Jacinto

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