STOCKTON — D’Angelo Finley made a big steal for Weston Ranch to squelch a late Beyer rally Tuesday night and help the host Cougars to a 65-59 victory in non-league boys basketball action.
With three minutes left in the game Darren Igarta hit a 3-pointer for Weston Ranch (3-0) to bump the Cougars lead to 60-49 when the Patriots (4-1) went on a quick run to narrow the game to 60-54. With 41 seconds remaining Beyer was moving up court with Weston Ranch on its heels when Finley (13 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals) intercepted a pass near mid-court and went the distance, sinking a layup to put the game out of reach at 62-54.
“It was a big steal,” Finley said. “But it was made possible because my teammates made the trap the right way.
“This was a total team effort. At times we get a little discombobulated and start playing selfishly but this game we really stuck together.”
It was a special win for Cougars coach Chris Teevan, a Beyer graduate.
“I m really proud to be an alumni,” Teevan said. “That is a good, tough team. And if there was no Modesto Christian, Beyer would run Modesto for the next five to 10 years. I can’t say more about a coach (Kyle McKim) or a program and I can’t say more about where they are now from where they were five years ago.”
Fred Lavender carried the load for Weston Ranch, leading the Cougars with 20 points while making three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“We were hungry and motivated to win,” Lavender said. “We had a good week of practice and we have been working hard.
“I told the guys we had to stay focused and play hard.”
Teevan is pleased with the progress Lavender has made.
“He (Lavender) has calmed down his bonehead plays,” Teevan said. “And I get on him a lot but that kid is a heck of a player, and I thought he really locked in defensively.”
Late in the third quarter the Patriots had worked themselves to a 44-38 lead. Lavender then made a steal and finished it off with a crowd-pleasing dunk and Jaelen Ragsdale (11 points, six rebounds, two steals) floated in a buzzer to narrow the gap to 44-42 going into the fourth quarter.
“We got down six points and we started to settle down offensively and really communicating and switching hard defensively,” Teevan said.
There were nine lead changed and 13 ties before Finley gave Weston Ranch the lead for good at 49-47 with 5:50 left in the game.
Tanner Gentry led Beyer with 21 points and Ryan Frakes added 20.
Beyer 62, Weston Ranch 46
Charles Jamison had 16 points for the Cougars and Raul Melgare 15.
Weston Ranch 53, Beyer 50
Elijah Bridges scored 16 points for the Cougars.