Darrell Johnson could finally breathe out a sigh of relief.
His Weston Ranch Cougars posted their first Valley Oak League win of the season, beating out visiting Sierra on Friday, 43-34.
“We were without two of our starters,” Johnson said. “But those who we had out there today stepped up.”
Perhaps no one more so than Asia Staups. In the fourth quarter, the 5-foot-9 junior forward opened things up with a quick two followed by a fake and drive to the hoop.
Weston Ranch (1-7 VOL, 3-17) was reeling prior to that 15-4 final period.
Sierra (1-7 VOL, 9-12) rallied for eight unanswered points to close out the third behind Lindsey Walljasper, who hit on three straight field goals set up by Daisia Salazar and Megan Westfall.
Walljasper, who led the Timberwolves with 11 points, returned the favor, assisting Westfall’s basket.
Down 30-26, Weston Ranch stormed back. Alexa Giron’s fastbreak basket tied the game at 34-34, with Nicole Bigornia scoring on a go-ahead 3 from the perimeter at the 2:46 mark in the fourth.
The Cougars put the game out of reach with Staups’ two free throws and a corner trey by Elysia Hernandez.
Staups scored eight of her game- high 13 points in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Sierra coach Martha Spivey was none too thrilled following the loss.
“I’m disappointed where we are at this point of the season, especially since we a good preseason,” she said.
The Timberwolves went through a cold spell late in the game, going scoreless in the final five minutes.