CONCORD — Weston Ranch’s historic season came to a halt Wednesday with a 48-42 loss at De La Salle in the first round of the CIF State Boys Basketball Championships Open Division.
The No.6-seeded Cougars (31-2) were the first public school in the southern half of the Sac-Joaquin Section not to mention the first from San Joaquin County to qualify for the elite Open Division. Their 30-game winning streak was snapped.
"The difference is the smallest details," said Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan, who saw his team battle back after trailing by as much as 16 points.
"We didn't want to play catch-up but that's what happened," he added.
The Spartans (29-3), a North Coast Section Division I school and the No. 3 team in the Open Division, was led by Thomas Gregorios, who scored 10 of his game-high 16 points in the opening quarter. He also had five rebounds and three steals.
"We didn't contain him," said Teevan, pointing out to a stretch in the first half in which the De La Salle senior point guard helped engineer a 24-4 run including 16-0 at one point.
Gregorios also had a pair of steals, while sophomore point guard Miles Daniels and Jack Byers both added 3 pointers.
"We hadn't seen this type of game since we played Mitty," said Weston Ranch's big man Gavin Wilburn, referencing Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, the team that handed his team its only loss of the regular season.
Down 28-12 midway in the second quarter, the Cougars got a boost offensively from Donjaé Lindsey, whose six straight points to close the gap.
Raul Melgarejo chipped with a pair of free throw and Lydell King netted a 3 to trim the Spartans' lead at the half, 31-21.
Weston Ranch came out of the break locked in.
Wiburn scored on consecutive drives to the basket as did Lindsey. Mi'Son Coilton hit four straight free throws along with a steal to make in a four-point game late in the third, 37-31.
From that point on, the Cougars stayed within striking distance.
With 1:21 remaining, King came up with a big rebound off a Lindsey miss free throw, finding Wilburn for the 3.
Weston Ranch was suddenly down, 44-42, going into the closing seconds.
Noah Clifford, De La Salle's 6-foot-5, 230-pound freshman, was fouled with 33.4 ticks left. He missed the free throw but came up with the rebounds to all but ice the game.
Wilburn led the Cougars with 15 points, nine rebounds, two steals and a block.
Lindsey added 12 and Coilton chipped in with four points, four boards and three steals.
The Spartans will now face No. 2 Sheldon of Sacramento on Saturday.