Just seconds after host Sierra took its first — and only — lead of the night early in the second quarter, Golden Valley went on an 18-0 run and the Timberwolves would come no closer than seven points the rest of the way as the Cougars from Merced rolled to a 54-37 non-league boys basketball win on Wednesday.
Barely a minute into the second period, Jack Cunial’s 3-pointer put Sierra (0-1) ahead 15-14 and the Timberwolves followed that up with a fast-break bucket from Daniel Rushing (nine points, five rebounds) for a 17-14 lead. Golden Valley (1-1) would hold Sierra scoreless against its 18-consecutive points until Rushing hit a near-half-court buzzer beater for a 32-20 halftime lead for the Cougars.
“We got tired and we went cold” Timberwolves coach Eddie Morales said of his team’s second-quarter debacle. “And defensively we broke down giving up some fast breaks and a lot of easy shots.
“It’s stuff we can coach up on but you have to make the shots.”
After getting thumped by Sonora with a 31-point loss on Friday, Golden Valley Coach Derrick Jacobs was determined not to have history repeat itself.
“We have been practicing all week on doing what we do,” Jacobs said. “We took a bad loss against Sonora last week and we have since watched film and we wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again.”
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Arvin Chohan (team-high 14 points, five rebounds, two steals, two blocks) and Rushing to end the third period and start the fourth brought Sierra within 42-35 only for the Cougars to close the game out on a 12-2 run.
Merced’s Mateo Tangaan (five rebounds) and Braden Castleton led all scorers with 15 points apiece. Semaj Moore flirted with a double-double for the Timberwolves with nine points and eight rebounds.
East Union 65, Stagg 34
The host Lancers (1-2) were able to bust out of their shooting slump on Wednesday, scorching Stagg for 30 points in the third quarter and a 50-15 lead. This was after they trailed 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.
“We’ve been shooting bad on the year — under 30 percent from the floor,” East Union coach Charles Legan said. “We’re still missing a couple pieces and were slow to start again. I kept telling the guys to keep shooting and they’ll eventually fall and they finally did.”
An improved effort on the defensive end is what helped get the Lancers going, and the long-range bombs began to drop after stringing together higher-percentage buckets in transition.
Anthony Sy made three 3s in the third and tied teammate Alex Cuevas for game-high honors with 16 points. Bryan Howe contributed 14 points and hit two 3s in the third. Dylan Lee added 11 points.
Golden Valley 59, Sierra 50
Anthony Grady led the Timberwolves with 15 points.