SACRAMENTO — For the better part of three quarters, the Weston Ranch was locked in a seesaw battle against Capital Christian in Tuesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal playoff game.
But then the host Cougars caught fire in the waning minutes of the third, breaking a 47-47 tie with a 12-2 run.
No. 2-seeded Capital Christian won, 77-57, setting up while Friday's section finals against No. 1 Sheldon at Golden 1 Arena. The Huskies defeated No. 4 Rocklin, 73-55.
"I thought we did a good job representing our division," said Weston Ranch High coach Chris Teevan.
His No. 14 Cougars (20-12) got to this point by traveling the road less traveled — compared to the other three final-four teams — having a play-in home game against Chavez before hitting the road to face Folsom, Cosumnes Oaks and Capital Christian (24-7) during the past week, and, despite the loss, will play again on Tuesday in the NorCal opener.
"We're excited about that. I think we'll be playing D2," Teevan said.
Weston Ranch was no stranger to Capital Christian.
"We played them back in December," said Teevan, whose team fell to Capital Christian in the consolation game of the Gridley Invitational, 61-43.
He indicated that the rematch played out almost the same way.
Capital Christian took the early lead, in part, by taking advantage of turnover and by converting from 3-point arc.
Darrion Williams, Caden Flowers and even Craig McMillan, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound sophomore center, delivered on an early 3s to give Capital Christian an 18-13 lead.
Weston Ranch clawed back behind Donjaé Lindsey, Jordahn Johnson, Mi'Son Coilton and Gavin Wilburn.
"We played good defense. We crashed the boards. And we executed our offense," Teevan said.
That formula pulled Weston Ranch even with Capital Christian.
With the game knotted at 28-28 shortly before the half, Weston Ranch went on an 8-2 run highlighted by Titus Haley's 3 and Lindsey's and-one three-point play.
Up to that point, Weston Ranch had a 26-10 rebound edge over Capital Christian including 13 of those coming on the offensive glass.
Most of the third continued to be a tight contest between the two teams featuring four ties and three lead changes.
Capital Christian then went on a 12-2 run behind Caden Flowers' three-point play and Sione Lose's breakaway slam dunk.
The game went from 47-47 tie to Capital Christian seizing a 57-49 lead.
Capital Christian continued to push forward, with Williams leading the way while finishing with a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Lose chipping in with 18 points and seven boards.
Flowers added 11.
Lindsey led Weston Ranch with 19 points.
Wilburn had 12 points, 11 boards, a block and a steal. Johnson, who was hampered by foul trouble, came through with 11 points, seven rebounds, a block and a steal.
Coilton contributed with seven points, 11 boards, three steals and a block.