The Weston Ranch boys basketball team celebrated senior night Wednesday in fine fashion, with the three seniors Titus Haley, Gavin Wilburn and Jordahnn Johnson helping the Cougars score 32 first-quarter points on the way to a 91-46 hammering of Manteca.
“This was kind of a reflection of how those seniors have had their careers,” Cougars coach Chris Teevan said. “They jumped on the opposition early as freshmen, kept the pressure up and stayed on top.
“This was a tremendous night for them and besides them, (Mi’son) Coilton, (Donjae’) Lindsey and (Kodey) Weary had good games as well.”
As he had since he was a freshman, four-year varsity starter and team captain Haley directed the Weston Ranch offense with precision.
“It’s been a good four years,” Haley said. “It’s had its ups and downs but overall it was a great experience to help me grow into a man.
Wednesday was Haley’s 18th birthday.
“Now that I’m 18 I see the things that I dealt with when I was 14 playing on varsity makes me handle situations in real life better and I have a better understanding of how to deal with adversity.”
Wilburn, another four-year varsity starter, led all scorers with 23 points along with five rebounds, five steals and four assists.
“Tonight wasn’t about the win,” Wilburn said. “It was about playing with my teammates to include Titus, who I have played with since eighth grade. And I played with Jordhann back in the fifth grade, playing AAU with him for two years.”
Johnson, a transfer from San Leandro, tallied a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds along with three steals, a block and an assist.
“We played together in the summer and fall, so we had some experience together before the season,” Johnson said. “Things didn’t start off particularly well at the beginning of the season but now we are gelling. We are a good team right now and very hard to beat.”
Lindsey added 16 points, four rebounds and an assist for Weston Ranch (9-2, 16-11) with Weary (four rebounds, assist) adding 14 points and Coilton grabbing 10 rebounds.
Jordan Burciaga led the Buffaloes (6-5, 13-14) with 12 points and Nick Bell added 10 points.
“A lot of guys have been working hard all year and they got to play against a top-caliber team,” Manteca coach Jason Hitt said. “We are young and will get better and better and better. I’m glad our lower levels came to play tonight. The freshmen are playing for a league championship and the JV beat Weston Ranch for the second time and Weston Ranch is the league champion.
“We tried to work on press break as much as possible. We have a great chance to do some damage in the playoffs. But again, Weston Ranch and Central Catholic are top-caliber teams and you get better playing them.”
The Buffaloes travel across town to visit East Union on Friday in the VOL finale, while the Cougars travel to Sierra. Manteca secured the third automatic playoff berth despite the loss.
Central Catholic 74, East Union 59
MOSESTO — After a five-point first quarter, the visiting Lancers (4-7, 13-14) kept pace with the Raiders (11-0, 20-7) the rest of the way.
East Union’s Lydell King tallied 21 points behind three 3-pointers and Dylan Lee added 12 points.
The Lancers likely need to beat Manteca to have a chance at advancing to the postseason with an at-large berth. They’re currently ranked No. 16 in the SJS Division III MaxPreps rankings, and teams in the top 15 that are not automatic qualifiers get in.
Manteca 76, Weston Ranch 67
Ryan Inderbitzin scored 16 of his 25 points for the Buffaloes in the first half. Justin Chase added 23 points.
The Cougars’ Elijah Mobley led all scorers with 28 points with Xavian Bell chipping in 15 points.