SALIDA – Jaelen Ragsdale displayed some of his offensive arsenal at the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic on Tuesday.
The Stanislaus State-bound guard scored a game-high 29 points to lead Weston Ranch past El Camino Real of Woodland Hills, 67-63.
“We took the loss (to Long Beach Poly) hard from the other day,” said Ragsdale, who sliced his way through the Conquistadors defense early on followed by a steady diet of midway jumpers in the second half.
The Cougars (9-2) will take on Centennial of Bakersfield at 3 p.m. today in the fifth-place game at the MC gym.
They first survived a tough battle with the Conquistadors (5-5), who pulled to within three in the final minute. But key free throws by Josh Dilg and Fred Lavender was enough to preserve the victory.
“It’s not fun coaching these close games,” said Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan.
His team had a 10-point lead going into the final two minutes. But El Camino got a pair of 3s from Drew Perlas and Brandon Russell, who also had a basket with 33.6 seconds left to cut the deficit, 65-62.
The Conquistadors had a 19-12 lead to kick off the second period. Ragsdale then caught fire, breaking down the El Camino defense by driving strong to the basket. He either scored on the lay-up or drew the foul – Ragsdale, in any event, was 11 of 12 from the foul line for the game.
The Cougars built up their lead thanks in part to Lavender’s outside shooting. He connected on several 3s while tallying 19 points.
Teammate D’Angelo Finley, who was strong on the boards, chipped in with nine.
“Communication and effort – that was the key to today’s game,” Teevan said.
Centennial 62, Manteca 49
The Buffaloes’ offense usually filters inside to Anand Hundal, but the Golden Hawks (4-7) of Bakersfield played deny defense, double and sometimes triple teaming the 6-foot-9 senior center.
“We got away from our game plan,” said Manteca coach Brett Lewis.
The key stretch occurred midway through the first half when Centennial went on a 15-5 run. It started with 6-7 center Zack Dougherty converting on a three-point play and capped off with a drive to the hoop by guard Aleczander Check.
In between, Elijah Hill scored on a put-back and Malcolm Johnson buried a trey.
Kenny Wooten Jr. gave Manteca a bit of a spark with a breakaway one-handed slam dunk and Hundal completed a three-point play.
Wooten finished with 16 points and eight rebounds while Hundal had 15 points and four boards.
“They beat us on the offensive boards,” Lewis said of Centennial.
Down 38-28 at the break, the Buffaloes opened the second half with Wooten throwing down a two-handed jam.
The Golden Hawks began adding to their lead by scoring nine unanswered points. They had a 15-point cushion going into the final period.
The Buffaloes had earlier 3s by the likes of Dwight Young and Frankie Lopez. But their outside shooting went cold in the second half.
Johnson put the game away for Centennial, scoring seven of his game-high 18 points during that third-period run. Check and Joel Melton finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Buffaloes (9-2) will play El Camino Real at 1:30 today for seventh place.