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Weston Ranch edges out Central Catholic
Sierra holds Oakdale to 1 point in 1st en route to blowout
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MODESTO — In the first of many marquee matchups to come in the Valley Oak League, Weston Ranch squeaked out a 62-58 win at Central Catholic despite missing point guard Jaelen Ragsdale.

D’Angelo Finley did his part in filling the void, pouring in 25 points while hitting key free throws late in the game. Central Catholic (0-1 VOL, 11-2 overall) led 52-47 with about five minutes to go but was held to just four points in the period.

“We started playing better defense down the stretch and snuck out of there with a win,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan said. “It was a good test for us and something for these guys to build on.”

Fred Lavendar added 14 points for the Cougars (1-0, 9-3), while Josh Dilg had nine. Jared Rice paced Central Catholic with 18 points, and Amrit Dhaliwal hit three 3s and pitched in with 15 points.

“Finley really stepped up tonight and did some good things out in transition, and Josh Dilg was great at running point all game for us,” Teevan said.

Weston Ranch hosts East Union on Friday for its first home game in nearly a month.

Sierra 59, Oakdale 21

The Timberwolves (1-0, 9-3) got all the scoring they needed in the first quarter when they raced out to a 22-1 advantage.

Jess Spivey scored 11 of his 19 points in the opening period, and Daniel Wyatt contributed 16. Bikram Thiara (seven points), Noah Ault and Wyatt each made two 3-pointers. Blake Whiting scored eight points to lead Oakdale (0-1, 1-8).

Sierra began its title defense without two starting post players. Victor Elijah could miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury, while Alex Farfan is day-to-day with a sore knee.

“The guys rallied around each other as a team and played Sierra basketball,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said. “We’ll be ready to compete on Friday night.”

Sierra heads to Manteca for a big cross-town showdown Friday.

Kimball 65, East Union 45

Rubin Mann torched East Union (0-1, 8-5) for 22 points, but it was defense that buoyed the win for visiting Kimball (1-0, 7-7). The Lancers scored no more than 10 points in each of the first three quarters, and standout guard Gyse Hulsebosch was held to just four points.

“Not a good offensive night,” East Union coach Ryan Tarr said. “They played good defense, give them credit. They didn’t do anything special, just manned us up and made things tough for us.

“We also did not get it done on the defensive end. Giving up 18 points in the second, third and fourth quarters isn’t going to cut it, especially in league. I have to do a better job of coaching them and take responsibility for the poor defensive effort.”

Eric Flores paced East Union with 12 points, Chris Molina added 10 and Malik Thomas contributed nine.