SONORA — Weston Ranch was already behind the 8-ball with two starters sitting out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons, and after falling behind 13-0 at the start there was just no way to get around it.
Behind 6-foot-2 sophomore center Raven Anderson’s 19 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday, Sonora had its way with the Cougars in a 73-44 win between two of the Valley Oak League’s championship hopefuls.
Despite the poor start, Weston Ranch (1-2, 11-5 overall) was still able to cut the deficit to single digits twice in the second quarter, but the Wildcats (2-1, 7-7) answered back with another big run to lead 38-21 at halftime.
The Cougars were plagued by turnovers throughout, finishing with 32.
“We just did not come ready to play,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “We cut into their lead a little bit, but we just couldn’t finish. They came back and countered, and just like that they were up 20.
“All we can do is regroup and get ready for East Union.”
DeArbia Gardner fired in 17 points to lead Weston Ranch. Timnesha Wilson ended up with 10.
Weston Ranch hosts undefeated East Union Thursday.
At Dalben Center, the VOL’s Most Valuable Player, Rachel McDaniel, capped a terrific all-around performance with 16 points, seven rebounds, five steals and seven assists. Ashley Rose led the Lancers (3-0, 16-0) with 20 points to go with six assists.
“Rachel has been playing well for us all season, but it was nice to see her get more comfortable with her shot,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said.
East Union was up 36-17 at halftime and stretched the lead to 31 midway late in the third period before clearing the bench.
Central Valley’s Julie Calderon scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half with the game well out of reach, while the Lancers’ reserves failed to score in the final six-plus minutes of the contest.
In Ceres, the Buffaloes (1-2, 8-8) made just one of 12 free throws and struggled to hit point-blank layups and open mid-range jumpers throughout.
“We executed,” Manteca coach Andrea Hiatt said. “We ran our offense, we found open shots and we knew when to penetrate their defense. We just could not finish.”
Morgan Salsedo turned in 10 points to lead Manteca. Sharon Washington and Kristin Llamas each finished with eight, with Washington adding seven rebounds, five assists and five steals. Davina Bennett scored the rest of Manteca’s points with seven.
Jode Johnson paced Ceres (2-1, 6-9) with 14 points.