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Williams, Nogueira lead TWolves past EU
EU's Tyler Bylow and Sierra's David Keating fight for position along the baseline during the second half of the T'Wolves' 55-29 win Wednesday night at the Dalben Center. - photo by BRANDON PETERSEN
With senior center Tyler Willis done for the season after he tore an ACL Friday against Manteca, Sierra High was looking for a few players to step up and fill the large void left by the Timberwolves’ second leading scorer Wednesday night at the Dalben Center.

A number of T’Wolves answered the call for head coach Scott Thomason in a 55-29 win over the Lancers, including junior shooting guard Trevor Noguiera, who splashed home four 3-pointers to finish with 13 points.

But at Sierra High, all roads lead through Christian Williams and Wednesday was no different.

Williams finished with a game-high 19 points and electrified a packed house on hand with a one-handed flush over a Lancer defender in the second period that drew contact and a whistle.

After Williams completed the highlight-reel three-point play from the free-throw line, Sierra enjoyed a 30-15 lead and didn’t look back.

“It’s good to bounce back from Friday,” Thomason said. “We didn’t care who we were playing tonight, we just wanted to make sure we were playing Sierra basketball.

“We had to make a couple of adjustments, obviously, with Tyler out. I feel so bad for the kid, so I just want to make sure we’re playing for him. That’s all we can do.”

Williams hit two 3-pointers right out of the gate and led Sierra on a 9-2 opening run that set the tone.

After Williams hit his third trey to start the second, EU battled back behind Ken Martinez’ own three-point play, this one making it 17-11 at the 4:37 mark.

Two minutes later, T.J. Brown’s layup made it 21-13, and it looked as though EU had found a spark.

But Nogueira responded with his third 3-pointer, and following a David Keating layup plus Williams’ posterizing theatrics, Sierra found themselves in the driver’s seat with a 31-17 lead heading into the break.

“I thought we did a pretty good job for about a quarter and a half,” EU head coach Eric Simoni said. “We were down 21-13, and we had a spurt there where we made some turnovers. Next thing you know, we’re down 31-17 at halftime. You can’t do that against a team that has a record like the one (Sierra) has.

“We came out in the third quarter flat, and they took advantage of it.”

Namely Chris Choate (9 points) and Serge Veretennikov.

Choate and Veretennikov combined for four straight layups to start the second half, two by way of offensive putback, to stretch the T’Wolf lead to 40-17 with four minutes left in the frame.

“The start of the second half, Choate and Serge were getting offensive rebounds and putbacks,” Thomason said. “And that kind of put the dagger in their heart a little bit. They can’t account for that, they’re worried about Christian and we’re getting layups from those guys, so great job.”

Defensively, Sierra was stifling in the third, allowing just three EU points.

The Lancers scored nine in the fourth, including six from Brown (10 points) who hit a three and converted a spinning layup plus the harm.

“Defensively we wanted to make sure we did a great job of trying to shut down Bylow as much as possible,” Thomason said. “He was the No. 1 priority for us, and I thought overall we did a pretty good job on him.”

Bylow hit just one jumper on the evening.

Ricky Inderbitzin finished with nine for the Lancers, and Keating had seven for Sierra.

EU (1-4 Valley Oak League, 2-15 overall) travels to Manteca Friday.

Sierra (4-1, 12-4) heads to Weston Ranch.

“Proud of the effort,” Thomason said. “We still have to get better, it’s not good enough right now. We have probably the biggest game so far at Weston Ranch Friday.

“We’ll be ready to go.”

To contact Brandon Petersen, e-mail, or call (209) 249-3543.