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Cougars cant contain Burbank on boards
Weston Ranchs sophomore guard Erron Duncan drives to the basket during the Cougars 77-53 loss against Burbank during a consolation bracket game of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic Friday afternoon in Salida. - photo by JOHN-JOEL GRIFFITHS

SALIDA – Weston Ranch played sloppily during the first quarter of the opening round of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic consolation bracket Friday.

The Cougars only tallied nine points in the first eight minutes, plus gave up the first 10 points of the second half and suffered a 77-53 loss to Burbank (9-1).

Weston Ranch (3-6) went 21 of 36 from the free-throw line and turned the ball over several times against its opponent’s hard-pressuring defense.

“(Burbank) is very quick,” Weston Ranch head coach Chris Teevan said. “But we want to run too. We had a lot of unforced turnovers, a lot of missed free throws and the boards hurt us again.”

Weston Ranch trailed 25-9 after the first quarter but went on a 21-15 run to close the first half, which made it 40-30 at the break. The Cougars missed 10 free throws during the first two quarters that could have theoretically tied the game at the midpoint.

Burbank, which lost its first game of the season Thursday against Castro Valley, 73-68 in overtime, came out playing with purpose in the second half.

The Titans netted the first five field goals of the third quarter and stretched their lead out to 20.

Weston Ranch, which starts four sophomores who see significant minutes, received a 3-ball from Jerico Gonzales with 2 minutes, 40 seconds left in the third frame.

Gonzales (five points) made it 52-37, but that was the closest the Cougars could pull in the second half.

Sophomore Josh Dilg (six points) made up the game’s final.

Weston Ranch sophomore Erron Duncan and junior Jazz Swanson tied for a team-high 10 points. The Cougars’ sophomore point guard Jaelen Ragsdale netted nine.

“(Erron and Jazz) played hard,” Teevan said. “When you play hard, good things happen, and that’s talent and skill. (Swanson) has a little bit more shooting ability than (Duncan), but Erron is a lot like his older brother (Eric). He’s not scared to play against anybody. He just battles.

“When we walk out of here we just have to think about how many games we’re going to win. We’re losing a couple now, but we’re starting four sophomores. We’re going to win games, we’re going to win championships and we’re going to do good things. We just need to stay positive with our mindset.”

This was the Cougars’ sixth appearance in this 14th annual tournament that features some of the better squads in the state such as Burbank, which was led by four players in double figures.

The Titans’ 6-2 sophomore forward James Gill had the game-high 17. Jalen Coates registered 15, Charles Mills 13 and Clifford Lyles 12.

“I thought (Weston Ranch) had a valid effort out there,” Burbank head coach Lindsey Ferrell said. “But as far as my team, we took an ‘L’ on (Thursday) so we had to pick up the intensity a little bit.”

Jordan Tauga chipped in six points and Marcus Moore and Alex Delinila each added three for Weston Ranch, who will play against Gregori of Modesto today at 11:30 a.m. in Salida.

Laguna Creek 65, Ripon 48

The Indians pieced together a respectable first-half effort as freshman Cole Stevens led the team with 13 points. Ripon (1-10) trailed 31-26 at halftime and went into the final quarter facing a nine-point deficit.

Laguna Creek (7-4) finished off the Indians with a 20-12 fourth-quarter run as Jessie Woods and Phillip McKellips tied for a game-high 14.

Ripon’s Derek Hickman finished with nine points and Massimo Robbins eight. Michael Morris chipped in seven and Chase DePrue five. Ryan Fugit, Bradley Clark and Curtis Azevedo rounded the Indians’ total with two apiece. Ripon will face Turlock today at Modesto Christian at 10 a.m.

Oakdale Rotary Classic

Ripon Chr. 56, Ceres 40

The Knights improved to 8-2 after pulling away with an 18-11 fourth-quarter run during a semifinal victory, which made them 4-0 in preseason tournament semifinals thus far this year.

Ripon Christian will go for its second tournament title tonight at 8 when it face the winner of Oakdale and Pitman at Oakdale High. The Knights were led by Danny Vander Molen’s team-high 15 points. Vander Molen went 10 of 10 from the free-throw stripe in the second half and hit one of RC’s three total 3-pointers during a first quarter where the Knights outscored Ceres 13-6.

Travis Vander Molen finished with 10, while Sean Broker and Eric Broker each added nine. Jake Schollenberg contributed seven for Ripon Christian, which led 23-14 at the half. RC went 25 of 36 from the charity stripe and capitalized on Ceres’ three technical fouls and one intentional.