When the brackets for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs were announced, Chris Teevan welcomed the slog ahead of his basketball program.
“I loved our match-ups,” he said.
Two days after chewing up a higher seed, the ninth-ranked Cougars feasted again. This time, Weston Ranch pounced top-seeded Christian Brothers, 63-52, advancing to Tuesday’s semifinal round with another double-digit victory.
Four players scored in double figures for the Cougars (19-10), who put Christian Brothers on notice early with a 33-9 blitz in the first quarter.
Jaelen Ragsdale scored a team-high 16 points, Josh Dilg and Tre Simmons finished with 11 apiece, and Jazz Swanson had 15 on four 3-pointers.
Teevan never backed down from his comments about the way the bracket laid out in front of his program. He believed his team — built on the shoulders three juniors and one sophomore — was capable of knocking off higher seeds on the road, including the odds-on favorite.
“They’re the No. 1, so you have to respect them,” Teevan said of Christian Brothers. “But they’re not overly big or athletic. They don’t have one player that’s hard to guard. They’re just a good team, but we had confidence.
“They guys were loose. Remember, we weren’t supposed to win. We were supposed to lose the last two games. We just went out and played.”
Weston Ranch was 7 of 7 from beyond the arc in the first quarter, including three off the hand of Swanson, a senior who has rediscovered his shooting stroke since becoming the team’s sixth man.
With a 33-9 lead, Weston Ranch hung on the rest of the way. The Cougars were held without a field goal in the fourth quarter, but knocked down nine free throws and extended possessions with seven offensive rebounds by Jordan Strane and Jordan Tauga.
Fred Lavender (nine points) offset a tame scoring night with eight rebounds of his own.
“It shows the kids that if you work hard and put in the time, if you prepare, it gives you confidence,” Teevan said. “And confidence leads to execution and winning. You don’t go on the road and hit seven 3s and beat a No. 1 seed by 11, if you’re not confident.”
The David-versus-Goliath match-ups keep coming. At least the next foe will be familiar one.
Weston Ranch will face Valley Oak League rival Manteca for a third time this season on Tuesday at Cosumnes River College.
The No. 4 Buffaloes swept the regular-season series with the Cougars.
The winner of Tuesday’s game will advance to Sleep Train Arena, the site of the section finals.
“We really respect them and we’re going to have to play a better game than we did tonight,” Teevan said. “It’s going to tough to guard the post and score inside ... but you know, when the lights get a little brighter, I got a couple of guys that take their game to the next level.”