Defense sparked Sierra High’s sophomore basketball team to a 58-31 Valley Oak League victory at East Union Friday.
It was nip-and-tuck at the start until two steals by Miguel Hernandez led to transition buckets on back-to-back possessions and helped the Timberwolves take a 14-point lead into halftime. East Union was then held to eight and five points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
Hunter Johnson led all scorers with 15 points, and Jordan Thompson had 13. Devin Nunez contributed eight. For East Union, Lucas Garcia posted nine points while Cody Keener had eight.
“Our defensive effort was there the whole game, and we were able to wear them down with our pressure,” said Sierra coach Eddie Morales. Joshua Patton was a real presence in the middle for us, not only by blocking shots but changing a lot of shots, too.”
W. Ranch 47, Manteca 31
Visiting Weston Ranch set the tone on defense, as it held Manteca to just four first-quarter points.
Kelly Laughlin (11 points, 4 steals) and Crystal Hernandez (10 points, 3 blocks) anchored the Cougars on both ends of the court. Victoria Gulley contributed eight points and six rebounds.
Beth Aschenbrenner produced 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals for Manteca (1-1 VOL, 3-6 overall). Alyssa Burch had nine points, and Chelsea Gomez added nine rebounds and four steals.
East Union 37, Sierra 28
The visiting Squires (1-1, 7-4) broke away from a 16-16 halftime tie and dominated the final two periods.
Maddie Yslava led the way with 13 points with Stephanie Flores chipping in 10. Kristin Maestretti (6 rebounds), Haley Silva and Amelia Teicheira each had seven for the Timberwolves.
Sierra 50, East Union 44
The Timberwolves (2-0, 10-0) kept their perfect record intact after falling behind 15-8 to start the contest. They used a 17-7 run in the third quarter to sprint ahead.
Enrique Jasso recorded 15 points, Daniel Wyatt had 14 and Jess Spivey nine.
W. Ranch 47, Manteca 42
Manteca (1-1, 8-1) suffered its first loss Friday when it was held to just six points in the first and third quarters.
Jade Griffin turned in 12 points for the Buffaloes, and Celina Burks had eight. Aryana Martinez grabbed 15 rebounds.
Sierra 47, East Union 26
Devi Coglio’s 16 points and 10 steals helped Sierra (2-0, 10-2) roll to an easy win. Trayana Davis contributed 14 points and six boards, and Kendelle Messersmith pumped in eight points.
Lania Taylor scored all nine of her EU-leading nine points in the fourth quarter. The Pages trailed 12-9 at halftime before Sierra took full control.