TRACY — Trailing by one to start the fourth quarter on Wednesday, Weston Ranch outscored host Kimball 27-11 the rest of the way for a 67-52 win that clinches a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff spot for the Cougars.
“We’re not a program that celebrates playoff berths, but with everything we’ve been through to sit where we are sitting is a hat tip to the guys wearing those jerseys,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan said.
His Cougars (10-2 Valley Oak League, 18-7 overall) is having to battle without two key starters — Gavin Wilburn (ineligible) and Raul Melgarejo (injury) — who are out for the rest of the season.
Different players have stepped up of late, and on Wednesday it was freshman Donjae Lindsey who took his turn to shine. He led all players with 22 points and 12 rebounds and keyed Weston Ranch’s fourth-quarter charge with 10 points.
Kimball (5-7, 12-13) was held scoreless for the first four minutes of the final period. Weston Ranch did not make a 3-pointer all game until Charles Jemison and Lindsey buried back-to-back bombs to help spark the finishing flurry.
Makhi Turner contributed 12 points, Devin Small had 11 and Antwann Taylor ended with 10. Kimball was led by Kai Ballungay’s 12 points. The Jaguars are a game back of Manteca, Sierra and Lathrop for the third automatic playoff berth.
“Kimball has been playing well,” Teevan said. “They have a lot of talent on that team, but I thought our kids played with a lot of physicality. It was probably the most complete team win we’ve had in league.”
Central Catholic 68,
East Union 55
MODESTO — East Union (0-12, 4-21) hung tough with the Raiders (12-0, 23-2), who clinched at least a share of the VOL championship with the win.
The difference was a 26-11 second quarter favoring Central Catholic, which took advantage after three Lancers starters were benched with foul trouble. East Union finished with a two-point edge in the other three quarters combined.
Both teams had four players in double figures. Blake Greenlee led the Lancers with 19 points, Drew Sena had 14, Steven Cline 11 and Christian Cuevas 10. Joshua Hamilton pumped in 16 points for Central.
Oakdale 64, Manteca 54
OAKDALE — The Mustangs (3-10, 9-16) galloped to the upset win with a 27-point outburst in the fourth quarter. Oakdale ended an eight-game losing streak to third-place Manteca (6-6, 10-16).
Drew Legan lit up the Buffaloes for 31 points. Gino Campiotti fired 25 for Manteca, while Jorge Cedano and Derek Range added 11 and 10, respectively.
Oakdale 56, Manteca 50
OAKDALE — Manteca came up short despite 17 and 16 points from Michael Arriola and Lorenzo Ceja. Karson Condit contributed six points and six rebounds.