Elisabeth Alexander found her stroke early and never lost it.
The result was a record-breaking night for Weston Ranch’s standout senior bound for CSU Stanislaus.
The Cougars pummeled visiting Sierra 72-37 Thursday behind Alexander’s 36 points and seven made 3s, both new single-game records at the Ranch.
Tempest Dawson previously held the scoring record with a 35-point performance back in 2008, and Courtney Duran buried six 3-pointers in the Cougars’ regular-season finale against Sierra in 2010.
“It was one of those nights when the ball just kept falling and her teammates just kept giving it to the hot hand,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “She doesn’t get those points if other players don’t make the effort to pass it to her.”
Patricia King was the main facilitator, as she dished out eight assists while scoring 14 points. Victoria Gulley added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Weston Ranch (11-1 Valley Oak League, 20-4 overall) remains a game back of undefeated Kimball with two regular-season contests to go.
Nour Hamza had 10 points to lead Sierra (4-8, 8-15), which was held to single digits in the second and third quarters. The Cougars raced to a 22-14 lead and put the Timberwolves away for good with a crushing 19-4 third-quarter run.
“Sometimes you feel better about a loss than a win and tonight was not one of those nights,” Sierra coach Martha Spivey said.
Weston Ranch appears to be back on track after what Bauer described to be a “funky week.” Last week his Cougars turned in lackluster efforts in road wins over Central Catholic and Oakdale but upped their game Tuesday against Manteca.
“We wanted to keep tempo and be consistent in the Manteca game and did well with that,” Bauer said. “We had a good practice (Wednesday) to prepare for Sierra and wanted to pick up where we left off.
“Right now we’re jostling for playoff position. We’re getting ready for two big games coming up.”
On Saturday the Cougars travel to East Union, which is fighting for a postseason berth, before playing host to Kimball next Tuesday in what could be a championship duel.
Kimball 64, Lathrop 26
In Tracy, the outsized and outgunned Spartans (1-11, 6-19) were again no match for Kimball (12-0, 25-0), which is on pace to seize a second straight outright claim to the VOL title.
The Jaguars opened with a 17-4 run and led 36-11 at halftime before putting it on cruise control. Terrina Phillips scored nine points to lead Lathrop, while Deja Andrades added seven points and five rebounds. Ashley Daboki pulled down a team-high 11 boards.
Weston Ranch 28,
The Timberwolves had several chances to tie it or jump ahead in the final 30 seconds but came up short in a defensive battle.
Lindsey Walljasper fouled out midway through the fourth, but not after pouring in a game-high 15 points for Sierra. Lea Grutjen chipped in nine points.
Weston Ranch was paced by Angelina Jack’s 10 points and Selena Hoang’s eight.
Kimball 38, Lathrop 26
Early turnovers doomed Lathrop, which kept pace over the final three quarters after falling behind, 13-4.
Julianna Justo topped all Spartan scorers with six points.
Weston Ranch 42, Sierra 41
The Cougars came out of a timeout down by two with 5 seconds remaining.
Justice Stitt inbounded the ball to Allyson Cheng and got it back in the right corner, where she launched the game-winning 3-pointer. Stitt ended up with 12 points and three assists. Jaylah Evans (seven rebounds, five steals), Marisa Castaneda and Allyson Cheng each contributed eight.
Lathrop 63, Kimball 28
The Spartans jumped out to a 19-5 lead, scored 15 unanswered points in the second half and never looked back in their 23rd consecutive victory. They clinched at least a share of the VOL championship with two games left.
Myani Thornton led a balanced scoring effort with 14 points. Ascension Thierry, Semaj Steen and Heaven Hudson pumped in 10 points apiece. Karissa Tolete and Rylene Crull finished with nine and seven, respectively.
East Union 66, Weston Ranch 48
Andrew Sena fired 24 points, and Jesse Anzar flirted with a triple-double (10 points, 12 rebounds, six steals) as East Union improved to 22-3 overall at Weston Ranch on Wednesday.
Jay Gakhal and Blake Greenlee aided the cause with 17 and 16 points, respectively.