Elisabeth Alexander helped set up Weston Ranch’s winner-take-all Valley Oak League championship against Kimball Tracy on Tuesday.
Alexander, who finished with a team-high 21 points, put away the game-winning bucket at the buzzer that propelled the Cougars past red-hot East Union Saturday, 65-63.
The Lancers weren’t able to win their ninth out of 11 despite standout sophomore Olivia Vezaldenos dropping a game-high 23 points.
East Union (7-6 VOL, 16-9 overall) will still have a shot at qualifying for the postseason on Tuesday with a win on the road against Sonora that will determine third place.
“(Olivia) was hitting shots falling down, sideways,” Weston Ranch head coach Chris Bauer said. “She’s shooting well right now. She hit a couple of 3s in big moments. It was a playoff atmosphere for sure.”
Vezaldenos is averaging just under 30 points per game the last three outings.
Weston Ranch got the final possession with 10 seconds left in regulation tied at 63-all. A.J. Brown (12 points), who also hit two 3s, brought the ball up the court and missed a floater from the middle of the paint.
Victoria Gulley (12 points) got Brown’s rebound and missed the put back. Alexander was there for the Cougars’ second straight offensive rebound and got the shot to drop for the win.
“(Coach) Jim (Agostini) has those kids playing well right now,” Bauer stated.
Weston Ranch (12-1, 19-6) has been playing well, too.
After digging itself an 8-0 hole, Weston Ranch closed the quarter on a 12-0 run to cut its deficit to 18-16. In the second quarter, the Cougars outscored EU 26-17.
Weston Ranch went 12 of 26 from the free-throw line and missed eight in the final quarter. Point guard Rauline Martinez scored eight before fouling out. Kelli Laughlin added seven for Weston Ranch.
East Union guard Ruby Dauby netted 12 points and Victoria Vezaldenos and Anna Wood added eight.
Sierra 44, Manteca 42
Sophomore Kayla Wilson scored nine points and hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer as this cross-town matchup went down to the wire. Manteca guard Jessica Hasal finished with 15 points (four 3s) and hit a trey to tie the game at 40 with two minutes left.
The Buffaloes (4-9, 7-19) led by six at the half and received 10 points from Abigail Behler. Sierra (4-9, 12-14) tied the game at 36 going into the fourth quarter. Junior Allison Rachels put Manteca up 42-40 and Haley Silva knotted it up for Sierra with a layup with 27 seconds left.
Behler was whistled for a moving screen with 11.6 remaining. Senior Celine Barber drove the ball up the court and dished it off to Wilson, who attacked the middle of the lane and sunk a floater as time expired. Barber finished with 10 and Allie Walljasper netted 11 and hauled in 10 rebounds.
Lathrop 40, Oakdale 37
The Spartans (4-9, 8-17) were led by senior Akilah Lesley’s 17 points (three 3s) and Lauren Collins added nine, four rebounds and passed out three assists. Brianna Fernandez chipped in six. Lathrop will close its season Tuesday at Sierra.
Sierra 53, Manteca 46
Devi Coglio led the T’Wolves (8-5 VOL) with 27 points, eight steals and dished two assists. Trayana Davis tallied up 10, pulled in two rebounds and had seven steals. Kendelle Messersmith tallied 10 points and passed four assists.
Oakdale 38, Lathrop 34
The Spartans’ Cierra Jones had the game-high honors with 19 points.