When Will Ward gets the ball in the low post, he usually draws a swarm of defenders.
But Sierra High’s 6-foot-5 senior center appears OK with that.
“It freed up the shooters on our team,” he said following the Timberwolves’ 53-30 non-league victory Tuesday over visiting Ceres. “They were able to knock down their shots.”
Sierra (2-2) used a balanced attack while connecting on seven 3s. Joseph Berry’s nine points came from behind the arc.
Ward also finished with nine points. He controlled the boards on both ends of the court and, on offense, often spotted teammates cutting to the basket by making strong passes from the high post.
Timberwolves coach Scott Thomason gave credit to his defense.
“We jumped all over (Ceres) in the second quarter,” he said.
Sierra went on a 20-8 run in the period, building up a 29-12 advantage at the intermission.
The big lead allowed for Thomason to shuffle his lineup throughout the second half.
“Everyone got to play tonight,” he added.
The Timberwolves increased their lead, getting 3s from Tim Thornton and Berry. Guillermo Nunez’s basket made it 41-16.
The Bulldogs showed signs of life on the offensive end thanks in part to Jimbo Perneth, who led Ceres with nine.
Sierra closed out strong as Aneal Sahota dropped in a pair of treys. Justin Patton, who finished with a game-high 10, put the finishing touches by sinking a pair of free throws.
“It was a good team effort tonight but there are still a lot of things we need to do in order to get better,” Thomason said.
His Timberwolves will play Johansen on Friday.
Sierra 59, Ceres 28
Carlos Quintana scored 17 and Bryson Sanders and Jonnythan Munkholm chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Timberwolves put behind a sloppy first half by going on a 21-2 run in the third period.
They also received balanced scoring, with 10 of their 14 players contributing points.