Weston Ranch’s boys basketball team is rolling. Now it’s a matter of stopping the other team from doing so.
The Cougars tipped off the 12th Annual Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic with an 81-72 victory Tuesday. The win is their fifth straight after dropping three to start the season.
They showed little rust offensively since taking two weeks off from game action, but Weston Ranch coach Ryan Bono looks for a better effort defensively over the final three days of the prestigious tournament.
The Cougars (5-3) take on Granada Hills or Oakland tonight at 5:30. Their game Tuesday started at 10:30 a.m. and was the first of eight played at Modesto Christian.
“It was our first game in two weeks, so it was good to get back onto the court,” Bono said. “We made some nice runs while breaking their press, but our overall team defense could have been better.
“So far we’ve played a really tough schedule. To come into Modesto Christian and get a good, solid win in the first round is always nice.”
Dylan Alexander poured in 28 points, and 6-foot-7 Davieon Leverett added 20 points and 14 rebounds. Zerrion Payton finished with 12 points.
Chris Carter paced Clovis East (4-8) with 22 points and drained four 3-pointers.
The difference was a 26-point outburst by Weston Ranch, which led 45-36 at halftime.
“Daiveon was a bright spot for us defensively and on the boards,” Bono said. “He helped get us out on the break.”
Bakersfield 47, Ripon 41
The Indians (3-6) were minutes away from scoring a big upset Tuesday. They limited Cal-bound Tyrone Wallace, a 6-3 guard averaging 22 points per game, to a single point in the first half while leading 21-11 at halftime.
Wallace finished with 16 points, but it was a flurry of four-straight 3-pointers that helped Bakersfield (10-4) avoid the upset. The Drillers buried eight 3-pointers, six in the second half. Ripon’s last lead stood at 38-37 with 2:50 remaining.
Jake McCreath grinded out 12 points for the Indians, and Cole Herrin turned in 10.
“We only played seven guys and they were tired at the very end,” said Ripon coach Rod Wright, who is leading the team’s ninth appearance at the tournament. “It was 3 ½ quarters of good Ripon basketball. We played hard, we just came up a little bit short.