By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ranch sputters after fast start
Placeholder Image
It was business as usual through a quarter of play in No. 12 Weston Ranch’s NorCal opener against fifth-seeded host Burlingame Tuesday.

“When they missed shots, we were able to rebound, get out and do our thing,” coach Ryan Bono said.

The Cougars’ thing is to put their athleticism to good use, shooting out to a 16-13 lead while forcing an uptempo pace.

That was Burlingame’s cue to buckle down defensively.

Behind its bruising tandem of post players, Burlingame grinded out a resounding 63-41 victory while keeping the Ranch to single digits (9, 9, 8) over the final three quarters.

It was only the second time the usually-explosive Cougars (26-4) were held to under 50 points this year. Tuesday’s total stands as their season low.

Burlingame (27-4), meanwhile, came into the contest giving up just 43.8 points per game and

“They did a very good job of playing team defense and were very efficient offensively,” Bono said. “They ran a lot of set plays and were able to get the ball to where they wanted to, and a lot of that was because weren’t playing aggressively enough.”

Weston Ranch had just one foul in the first half and eight total.

Rodrigo Puliceno, solidly put together at 6-foot-3, 223-pounds, mauled Weston Ranch’s in the paint and led all players with 15 pokints. Kyle Shaffer, a 6-4, 238-pound center, added 10, while Dean Ferrari pitched in with 13.

Zerrion Payton paced Weston Ranch with 12 points, and senior Melvin Allen had eight. Dylan Alexander, who came in averaging 17 per game, was held to just four points. Andre Beard contributed six points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Weston Ranch completes its most successful season in its seven-year varsity history, but dropping its final two after winning 20 in a row should be enough motivation for its young core of returning players.

Alexander, Payton and 6-7 center Daiveon Leverett are sophomores, and Beard is a junior.

“This whole experience has done wonders for us,” Bono said. “The sophomores and juniors know what it takes to get to the next level, so in the offseason they’ll get stronger physically and mentally.

“But I’m not going to complain too much about a 26-4 season.”