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Senior-laden Cougars hope to go out on top

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Weston Ranch standout Dylan Alexander drives to the hoop in a league game at Lathrop on Feb. 4, 2012.

HIME ROMERO/Bulletin File Photo

POSTED November 24, 2012 12:57 a.m.

After putting together a perfect 14-0 league season and falling one win short of a Sac-Joaquin Section title, the Sierra Timberwolves would seem like a logical choice for the Valley Oak League’s team to beat. But an experienced Weston Ranch club, led by senior stud Dylan Alexander, is sure to lobby for some of the league’s attention.

Weston Ranch will be guided by first-year head coach Christopher Teevan, who takes over the program for recently departed Ryan Bono. Teevan has embraced the opportunity to implement his stamp on the team, but feels like the success and failure of the squad will depend on the team’s returning leadership.

The Cougars found another favorable bounce after it added Teevan in May, when Tri-City All-League guard Eric Duncan transferred from McNair High. Duncan is the ninth of a huge Weston Ranch senior class, led by area standouts Alexander and Daiveon Leverett.

Leverett and Alexander both have earned All-VOL honors their sophomore and junior seasons and will need to play the most prominent roles if the Cougars are going to reestablish the hierarchy in the VOL.

“This is pretty much where I make my statement,” Alexander said of his final VOL season. “I have accomplished pretty much nothing since I’ve been here. I haven’t helped get a blue banner (section championship) in here and that is what I’m chasing after this year. We have a pretty good team and we have a pretty good chance to compete for that. We’re trying to keep it intense every day and improve each day.

“We can’t afford to backwards steps and regress; we have to progress every day.”

Alexander will surprise no one in the VOL, scoring at will throughout his varsity career. With the addition of Duncan, the scoring load will definitely be partitioned amongst three scorers, but the scoring demands will be secondary to the leadership roles.

“This team has the kids’ stamp,” Teevan said of his nucleus. “The kids have kind of taken over and they have set a standard and expectation of themselves. We know we’ll get to where we need to be at when you are talking about the kids leading and not me.

“I give them the structure and they follow it; I’ll let them know if they’ve lowered their standards because that’s a bad thing.”

The Cougars will get their far share of tests early on in the preseason schedule with dates in the Tracy Holiday Classic, Rocklin Holiday Tournament and the Modesto Christian Holiday Classic. They will also close out the nonleague schedule with a meeting against St. Mary’s of Stockton.

“We have worked harder than we ever have,” Alexander said. “I am doing my best to become  a leader vocally as well as by example. I have to work hard on keeping our intensity up and working hard together.”

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