WESTON RANCH — Davieon Leverett was a tall order for visiting Rio Americano on Friday.
The 6-foot-8 senior for the Weston Ranch Cougars not only forced two of the Raiders’ top two players to foul out but finished with a game-high 18 points while leading his team to an 83-61 victory in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III game.
“This was a big game so we came ready to play,” said Leverett, who capped off the evening with a thunderous one-hand dunk.
Next up for Weston Ranch (21-8) will be Modesto Christian at Consumnes River College on Tuesday.
Cougars coach Chris Teevan was proud of his team’s effort against the Raiders. “It’s the best we’ve played all year,” he said.
For Rio Americano (15-14), it was a matter of choosing its own poison.
Weston Ranch often made the Raiders pay when double-teaming the likes of Levrett, Dylan Alexander or Eric Duncan.
Felix Buenrostro, for one, had 15 points, with all five of his field goals coming from beyond the arc. Duncan chipped in with 11.
“We’ve been playing unselfish with the ball,” said Alexander, who hit for 17. “That’s part of our progression during the season.”
He called Leverett the difference-maker.
“Davieon has made the difference in all of our games,” said Alexander, who played alongside Leverett during the past four years.
Teevan added: “We didn’t give (Davieon) the ball enough.”
Rio Americano staked out an early lead behind 6-4 Jordon Cloud, who drew two early fouls.
Suddenly, the Cougars caught fire, reeling 19 unanswered points while going up 21-6.
Alexander connected on a trey, Leverett scored on a put-back, Duncan converted a three-point play following a steal, and Justin Lassiter, who finished with 13, came through on a second-chance basket and a layup.
Weston Ranch made it 29-10 early in the second thanks to the 3-point shooting by Alexander and Buenrostro coupled with a put-back by Leonard Locket.
Locket, Lassiter and Albert Lyon, in addition, kept the pressure on Rio Americano with their defense.
Kyle Joaquin led the Raiders with 17.
In the second half, the Cougars thrilled the home crowd with an assortment of dunks. Leverett soared high above the defenders to throw down a two-handed slam in the third. He later put down the one-handed flush on a breakaway.
Early in the fourth, Alexander drove baseline for his one-handed jam.