STOCKTON — Dylan Lee and the rest of the East Union boys basketball team did their best to keep pace with, Weston Ranch on Wednesday but eventually ran out of steam.
A four-point deficit at the midway point of the third quarter turned into a blowout, as the Cougars scored 22 unanswered points and cruised to a 96-63 win.
Lee notched a game-high 28 points but was held scoreless for the final nine-plus minutes. Elijah Mobley tallied 27 points for Weston Ranch (2-0, 9-8 overall), which had nine of its 10 available contributed on the score sheet, drilled 13 3-pointers and made 21 of 25 free throws.
Ultimately, the Cougars’ depth and up-tempo style of play were too much for East Union (1-1, 13-4), which had a seven-game winning streak snapped.
“It was a team effort,” Weston Ranch coach Nicholas Podesta said. “All 10 guys found a way to contribute. I thought from top to bottom this was our most complete game of the year.”
Khristian Holmes contributed 19 points, six assists and four rebounds while knocking down four of Weston Ranch’s 3s. Elliot Mobley added 13 points, Richard Banks had 10 to go with three steals and Xavion Bell hit three 3s for his nine points.
The Cougars totaled 23 assists, forced 14 turnovers (while limiting theirs to 10) and won the battle of the boards, 29-19.
East Union did well to battle back from double-digit deficits in the first half. The deficit was whittled down to a manageable margin by halftime, 42-35, and Lee scored 10 of the Lancers’ points in the third quarter to keep them in the ballgame — at least for a little longer. They slimmed the gap down to four, 47-43, after Alex Cuevas’ elbow jumper with 4 minutes left in the period.
Lee scored East Union’s final points of the quarter with a put-back bucket with 1:55 remaining, keeping EU within range at 52-47. Those were his last points of the game, and Weston Ranch began to piece together its staggering flurry.
“I thought the press kind of wore us down,” East Union coach Charles Legan said. “We gave up 42 points in the first half and that’s not us — that’s what we (normally) give up for a (full) game. You have to give them credit, they shot the lights out and their depth wore us down a little bit. We gave them a good fight for about 22 minutes and the game just got away from us.”
East Union did not have any other double-digit scorers. Alex Cuevas chipped in nine points. Anthony Sy ended the Lancers’ scoring drought in the fourth quarter, sinking a 3-pointer with 6:22 remaining. The run grew to 31-3 at one point.
“We needed some other people to step up tonight,” Legan said. “We’ve been off eight or nine days, so we’re just getting our feet back under us this week. We’re going to watch film, get back to our ways on defense, put this game away and get ready for Sierra on Friday.”
Meanwhile, Weston Ranch hopes its most recent performance carries over Friday when it travels to Manteca. The two rivals previously met Dec. 30 in the consolation final of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic, with the Ranch rolling to a 62-50 victory.
“Like I told these guys, every game in the VOL you have to approach like a postseason game,” Podesta said. “There are no gimmies, every game is incredibly important. We’re going to take every game one game at a time and hopefully give every team we play our best effort.”