Weston Ranch High came in extremely focused against East Union in Friday’s Valley Oak League match.
A testament of that took place early on as the first-place Cougars jumped out a large lead while nearly shooting perfect from the field, in the process, spoiling winter homecoming for the Lancers.
Weston Ranch (11-0 VOL, 20-4) cruised to an 85-35 victory, which coincided with Sierra’s upset win over second-place Manteca that guarantees at least a title share for the Cougars with three games remaining.
“We were really locked in tonight,” said Cougars coach Chris Teevan.
He was without senior standout D’Angelo Finley, who was out with an illness. His teammates stepped up, playing a consistent inside-out game to go along with a stingy defense.
The Cougars went up 24-4 to start the game, with Fred Lavender, Jaelen Ragsdale, Josh Dilg and Darren Igarta, starting place of Finley, being perfect shooting from the field.
East Union (3-8 VOL, 11-12) had trouble penetrating the Weston Ranch defense, mustering up a pair of jumpers by Gyse Hulsebosch and another by Daniel Ramos.
The Cougars rode that same momentum in the second quarter. Their first-quarter drives to the hoop resulted into open 3s during the following period.
Igarta hit a pair from beyond the arc and Ragsdale added another.
Center Anthony Booker, who had eight rebounds, made his mark with a dunk before halftime.
By then, Weston Ranch had put together an insurmountable 48-14 lead.
“I don’t know what happened — there was no fight in us,” said Lancers coach Ryan Tarr. “It seemed as if we were unprepared.
“Everything we looked at in film, we didn’t do (in the game).”
Weston Ranch, meanwhile, displayed balanced scoring. Ragsdale had a game-high 17 points, and Lavender and Dilg chipped in with 13 and 12, respectively.
Igarta and Booker both had nine.
Hulsebosch led East Union with 11.
“We have to regroup for next week (against Central Catholic and Manteca High). We had been playing so hard prior to these last two games,” Tarr said.
Central Catholic 90,
It was an uphill battle from the start for Lathrop (6-5, 13-11), which gave up 30 points in the second quarter and trailed 49-26 by halftime. Central Catholic (8-3, 19-4) was aided by 36 free-throw attempts in the first half, and four Spartans went on to foul out.
The Raiders also accumulated 13 3-pointers, seven coming from Cooper Wilson (23 points). Amrit Dhaliwal and Josh Hamilton scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, and combined for five made 3s.
Michael Mills and Junior Ballard led Lathrop with 13 and 11 points.