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Turnover bug bites Cougars
Sloppy play hurts WR in stunning loss
Weston Ranch High’s Nate Moises draws in Chavez defenders Solomon David (30) and Demetrius Bishop late in Thursday’s consolation-bracket game at Swenson Gym in Tracy. - photo by HIME ROMERO
TRACY — Chavez High guard Deone Jackson gave the Titans their first lead on a fastbreak layup 58 seconds into game, and it was Jackson who arched in a clutch 3-pointer and two free throws late in the fourth quarter for their second and third leads.
Jackson finished with 24 points to lead all scorers, as Chavez stunned two-time defending Tracy Winter Holiday Classic champion Weston Ranch 51-49 in the first round of consolation play Thursday at Tracy High’s Swenson Gym.
Chavez came into the contest having won a single game and improved to 2-7.
The struggling Cougars (3-5), who have dropped three of their last four, had trouble once again in keeping possessions alive. In Wednesday’s 76-71 tournament-opening loss to Livingston, Weston Ranch turned it over 30 times.
Weston Ranch managed to outdo itself Thursday, as it had 31 turnovers — and No. 31 was a killer.
Cougar coach Ryan Bono called a timeout after Jackson buried the game-clinching free throws with 4.6 seconds left. Weston Ranch guard Patrick Phillips took the inbounds pass from the baseline and dribbled it pass the halfcourt line but was called for traveling while he attempted to call a timeout with a shade under a second remaining.
Mistakes and missed lay-ups from point blank plagued Weston Ranch all game, and they kept the Cougars from breaking it open.
Weston Ranch set the tempo early on with its run-and-gun style of play, bolting out to a 14-4 lead in the process.
But Chavez was able to close the quarter with an 8-0 flurry to stay in it, and its final two buckets came off of coast-to-coast layups from Jonathan Toliver (10 points, four steals) following turnovers.
“In the first half we counted 12 points off of turnovers that put them back in the game,” Bono said. “We’ve been preaching turnovers since the Monterey Trail Tournament, and for some reason our team is not taking our practices into the games.”
Despite the sloppy play, the Cougars pushed their lead back up to 10 midway through the third quarter on Marcus Wood’s mid-range floater.
Weston Ranch led 41-36 at the end of three, but the momentum seemed to be on Chavez’s side in crunch time.
“It was tough,” said Weston Ranch guard Derrick Sykes, who had 12 points and six steals. “We powered through in the first quarter, we were doing well. But in the fourth quarter we just died down. It was as if we didn’t want to play anymore. I don’t know what happened, it was weird.”
Charray Poole had 13 points to lead the Cougars in scoring.
Chavez will next take on Johansen at 7:30 tonight back at Swenson Gym, while Weston Ranch faces Los Banos at 4:30 at West High.
“We need to come out next game and hustle,” Sykes said. “We need to play the whole game. So far we haven’t done that yet.”