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Timberwolves ready for the Ranch

Sierra upends Kimball to set up first-place battle

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Timberwolves ready for the Ranch

Guillermo Nunez takes a jump shot in early offense for Sierra.

CHRIS LEONARD / www.leonardphoto.com/


POSTED January 24, 2013 1:13 a.m.

A four-point play from Eric Melgar followed by a pair of Guillermo Nunez baskets and another Melgar 3-pointer turned a legitimate Kimball effort into another Valley Oak League blowout for Sierra. The Timberwolves outscored Kimball 15-4 to open the second half on their way to a 62-44 win Wednesday.

The win propels Sierra into a battle of the league’s lone two undefeated teams Friday when it (8-0 VOL, 18-3 overall) travels to Weston Ranch.

Kimball tried in vain to still the matchup’s thunder, going into halftime with a 31-27 deficit. Sierra’s effort on the defensive end wasn’t lacking early, but it definitely went to new levels in the second half. The Timberwolves forced Kimball into four consecutive turnovers and suddenly Nunez and Melgar were racing to particular shooting spots in Sierra’s transition.

“The second half we picked up the pressure,” Sierra head coach Scott Thomason said. “A lot of it comes from our press, we’re getting steals and pushing the ball to get some 3-on-1s. Guillermo and Eric hit some big shots and his four-point-play got us going a little bit.

“They were the only team the first time around that scored 47 points on us; to hold them under 47 was a challenge for them.”

Kimball’s offense proved ineffective when the Timberwolves’ defense intensified. The suffocating effort from the guards trickles down to gambling post men who seem to time their break on the ball with the prowess of a defensive back. Five ball handlers on the court simultaneously seemingly would have been Kimball’s only option.

“We talked about trying to find Guillermo and No. 3 (Melgar) and they did a good job of getting those guys open,” Kimball head coach Joe Lawrence said. “And they hit some shots in the second half. Credit Sierra’s kids, they play hard all the time. I think our kids gave a good effort, in that second half we just didn’t quite get the shots that we needed.”

Sierra got a solid effort early from senior Justin Patton, who carried the bulk of the scoring load with eight first half points. Nunez (21 points) and Melgar (13 points) led Sierra in scoring, while Devante Baisa led Kimball with 16.

Sierra’s quest to run its VOL winning streak to 23 will find its stiffest obstacle Friday in Weston Ranch.

“In 15 or 20 minutes we’re going to forget this and get on to our Friday game,” Thomason said. “We’re going to prepare the same way we’ve done every game since I’ve been here. Every game for us is a championship level game and we’re just excited for our next challenge.”

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