SACRAMENTO — Don’t call Josh Dilg underrated.
“He’s just a good player,”said Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan following his team’s first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship Friday at Sleep Train Arena.
Dilg once again had the tall order of guarding Manteca High’s 6-foot-8 junior guard Tydus Verhoeven.
“I just tried to keep him in front of me and kept my position,” said the 5-11 Dilg, a four-year starter with the Cougars.
Verhoeven scored 12 points in his team’s 69-57 loss.
The Buffaloes had been steamrolling opponents during the postseason before facing Weston Ranch for the third time this season.
The two Valley Oak League rival played this one like the previous two game through much of three quarters.
The Cougars held a 40-35 edge when standout guard Fred Lavender drew his fourth foul – he was called for three quick one to start the second half – and was forced to take seat.
Enter Darren Igarta.
He had no idea that he would play big minutes in this crucial game.
“Darren has been with the program for four years but hardly played prior to this year,” Teevan said.
Igarta, who has been steady hitting corner 3s throughout the year, continued to his from his spot, nailing a pair from beyond the arc in the first half.
In this crucial stretch, he picked up the slack with defense and hustle plays, crediting his improved play with all the hard work over the summer.
Igarta forced a turnover by deflecting a pass in traffic as Weston Ranch built up a 47-40 lead in the fourth quarter while slowly pulling away.
He, Dilg and Anthony Booker, who, according to Teevan, was labeled as “soft” and “unfulfilled” prior to joining the Cougars – he played previously at Chavez High – came up big in this biggest game of the school’s short history.
Teevan paid homage to those helped shape the program, reeling off a list of names from yesteryear.
This section title was for everyone and anyone associated with Weston Ranch.