Weston Ranch was able to cool off the hottest hand in the Valley Oak League on Wednesday.
The visiting Cougars held East Union’s Gyse Hulsebosch to 11 points, while sophomore Makhi Turner lifted them out of a first-half scoring slump in a 47-41 win at Dalben Center. Although the two teams are tied for third in the VOL, Weston Ranch (7-5, 15-10) owns a head-to-head tiebreaking advantage having swept the Lancers (7-5, 15-10).
Two games remain in the regular season, and the top three VOL teams get automatic berths for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
“None if it matters if we don’t beat Sierra (on Friday),” Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan said. “Every game is a playoff game now. We have to be ready to roll on Friday because (playing) at Sierra is no joke.”
Holding Hulsebosch was key Weston Ranch’s latest victory. He had two 40-point efforts last week and averaged 38.5 points in East Union’s last four games. Blake Greenlee led the Lancers with 18 points.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well all night,” East Union coach Ryan Tarr said. “Credit Weston Ranch, they did a good job of defending Gyse.”
Said Teevan, “We’ve done a good job with (defending) perimeter guys. We wanted to make sure Gyse didn’t shoot clean shots. I thought we did alright compared to his recent scoring outputs.”
Turner did his best work in the third quarter, scoring 11 points and making three 3s. Weston Ranch trailed 25-18 at halftime before outscoring the Lancers 17-4 in the third. Freshman point guard Gavin Wilburn contributed 11 points. Teevan also lauded some of his veteran players.
“We took care of the ball a lot better in the second half,” Teevan said. “Our level of play has increased. A lot of people talk about our young guys but forget that Chedrick (Ordonez) and Daniel (Elendu) played in section title games the last two years. Elendu has turned himself into a college basketball player with his performances lately.”
Lathrop 66, Oakdale 36
LATHROP — The Spartans (6-6, 14-11) led wire to wire and broke it open with a 20-5 second-quarter run.
Every Lathrop player scored with Junior Ballard leading the charge with 14 points. Michael Mills and Adonis Payton each had nine.
Lathrop 57, Oakdale 45
LATHROP — Walton Whaley led all scorers with 28 points, and Braydon Rollins contributed eight to go with seven steals and five assists. Lathrop broke away from a 32-32 halftime tie by holding the visiting Mustangs to just five points in the third quarter.