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MC HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Weston Ranch tramples Tracy
Manteca holds off Centennial in MC tourney opener
Bulletin boys basketball 2018-19
Weston Ranch’s Devin Small rises to the rim for a layup against Tracy defenders Rasheed Asaf (2), Daniel Spencer (32) and Isaiah Hawthorne (22) at the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic. - photo by Photo By Sean Kahler

SALIDA— Weston Ranch High faced one of the top players in Tracy High's Isaiah Hawthorne in the opening round of the 19th annual Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic on Wednesday.
While the 6-foot-8 Pacific-bound senior was still a force with his overall play, the Cougars were hardly deterred as they came away with a 68-47 win.
"Gavin did a good job on him," said Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan, referring to Gavin Wilburn, his tough 6-3 junior forward.
Wilburn along with junior guard Titus Haley, and sophomores Donjae' Lindsey and Mi'son Coilton were more than enough to counter Hawthorne and the Bulldogs. Teevan credited a good start on getting his team engaged early on.
"We haven't been happy with some of our starts lately," he said.
The Cougars (10-1) jumped out to a 17-9 lead paced by Wilburn, Lindsey and Lydell King, who quickly contributed with a 3 coming off the bench.
Up 18-13 to begin the second, Weston Ranch continued dictating the tempo. Lindsey and Wilburn hit a pair of hoops each and Quinten Booker connected on a corner trey, getting a pass from Coilton.
In the third, Tracy (7-4) put together a modest run spearheaded by Hawthorne, who finished with a game-high 22 points.
Wilburn came up with the big statement, throwing down a two-handed dunk off a Lindsey missed shot to make it 47-33.
From that point on through early in the fourth, the Cougars, who opened the final period with a 10-0 run, managed to put the game away, increasing their lead, 66-37. Wilburn led the way with 21 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocks.
"He can be the best player in the section," Teevan said.
Lindsey chipped in with 19 points, seven boards, three steals and a block.
Coilton grabbed 11 rebounds to go with six points and three steals.
As for Haley, Teevan praised his point guard for his court presence.
"Titus does things out there that we, as coaches, are aware of," he added.
Weston Ranch will play Turlock today at 4:30 p.m
Manteca 83, Centennial 76
Manteca coach Brett Lewis would like to see his team do a better job of closing out games.
That’s after his squad had a 26-point lead early in the fourth get dwindled down to six as a result of the pressure defense employed by Centennial of Bakersfield.
In the end, Jorge Cedano’s solid free-throw shooting helped seal the victory. He was 8 of 8 from the line in the final minutes, and 11 of 13 in the fourth.
The Buffaloes (10-2) will take on Modesto Christian today at 6 p.m. Going into the opener, Manteca was aware of the Centennial’s ability to shoot the ball.
It was the Buffaloes who came out shooting, with 6-4 senior Domonick Victor nailing a 3 followed by a turn-around jumper. Cedano and Jordan Burciaga followed by sinking a trey each.
Manteca had a 17-12 lead after the first quarter and opened the second with Burciaga’s 3, making it 20-12.
The Golden Hawks (5-9) countered by going on a 10-4 run, cutting the lead to two, 24-22. Chuckie Roberts’ trey along with Noah West’s second-chance basket highlighted that rally.
But the Buffaloes dialed it up again from long distance. Victor and Cedano delivered from beyond the arc, giving their team a 30-24 lead at the break.
Victor came out on fire in the third, delivering a quick two on the inbound pass and sinking in a 3 on another inbound play. He scored 17 points in the quarter, finishing with a game-high 30 to go with five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Victor’s finger-roll shot and Rashawn Ballard’s spin move to the basket gave Manteca a 61-35 edge early in the fourth.
Centennial’s Christian Espericucta then got rolling, hitting three straight baskets including a 3 and following that up by sinking four straight free throws.
Richey and Noah West got into the act with their steady shooting coupled with the Golden Hawks capitalizing on turnovers.
Baskets by Espericucta and West cut the deficit to single digit in the final three minutes. The Buffaloes preserved the win with their free throw shooting to close out the game
Cedano netted 21 points with seven boards and two steals while Burciaga finished with 12.
West led all scorers with 25. Espericucta and Ryan Redstone chipped in with 17 and 13, respectively.

Modesto Christian 75, Ripon 44
Ripon (4-8) hung with one of the premier programs in Northern California, trailing 48-33 after three quarters.
“I don’t think the score is indicative of how the game went,” Ripon coach Justin Graham said. “Once both teams emptied the benches MC went on a run to widen the lead. Overall, I’m really proud of the way we played. MC is a top-24 team in the state and we were with them for three quartrs.
Vincent Olmo grabbed 16 rebounds while blocking four shots for Ripon, but the 6-foot-8 center was held to six points. Nico Ilardi paced the Indians with nine points, while Troy Brogan and Baz Cheema had seven each.
Michael Pearson led the Crusaders (7-3) with 13 points. Ripon faces Centennial today at noon.