STOCKTON — The Cordova boys basketball team is still undefeated – barely
The Lancers held off a late charge by Sierra and were forced to overtime but came away with a 65-64 victory in opening-round action of the McDonald’s Classic at Franklin High’s Gus Gallagher Gym.
Both teams had multiple opportunities to end the game in regulation as the final points of the fourth quarter were scored by the Timberwolves’ Devin Nunez with 2:37 left in the period, capping a 10-3 run for Sierra to tie the game at 58. Although Nunez was 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, the Timberwolves (2-2) missed four free throws down the stretch and 10 on the night.
“Free throws hurt us,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said. “When you miss one of two or the front end of a one-and-one that hurts you.
“But I am proud of our effort. We scrapped hard, but we have to take care of the ball and play better.”
The Lancers (5-0) never trailed in the extra period. The Timberwolves got the last four points of the night when Hunter Johnson and Josh Patton finally found a way to break the suffocating Cordova press. Patton’s layup got Sierra within 65-64 with 1:22 showing on the overtime clock, but just as in the fourth quarter the Timberwolves could not find a way to get that last basket.
The Lancers pressed all night, swapping out their entire lineup a number of times each quarter.
“We were prepared for it,” Thomason said of the press. “We scouted them and we knew it was coming, but when you turn the ball over so many times you will have a hard time winning.
“We should have won that game.”
Patton led Sierra with 16 points followed by Nunez with 14 and Johnson with 12. Jordan Roberson of Cordova led all scorers with 17 points.
The Timberwolves face Bear Creek today at 5 p.m. at Franklin.
Weston Ranch 57
The Cougars jumped out to a 19-7 first-quarter lead over the Jaguars but were outscored in each of the final three periods in opening-round action at Edison High’s Grant Taggert Gymnasium.
“Turnovers were the difference tonight,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan said. “That and the will to win.”
The game was still up for grabs going into the fourth quarter with Bethel clinging to a 46-44 lead. Jaelen Ragsdale scored eight of his team-high 17 points in the final period, bringing the Cougars (3-3) within 50-48 on a pair of free throws, 52-51 on a 3-pointer and 54-53 on a fast-break layup. Weston Ranch would come no closer than two points for the final four minutes of the game.
The Cougars placed two other players in double figures – Erron Duncan added 12 points and Alex Delinila 11. Malcolm Daniels of Bethel (2-4) led all scorers with 21 points.
Weston Ranch travels across town to Franklin today to play either Lodi or Central-Fresno at 6:30 p.m.