STOCKTON — Weston Ranch looked every bit of that up-and-coming young team on Tuesday.
Proof of that was an impressive 62-48 Valley Oak League victory over East Union.
“We needed this win — we needed it more for ourselves,” said Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan.
The Cougars (2-3 VOL, 10-8) were led by 6-foot-3 sophomore Raul Melgarejo and 6-2 freshman Gavin Wilburn.
Melgarejo had 17 points, 10 rebounds and a steal while Wilburn chipped in with 16 points, eight boards and two blocks.
Those two along with Makhi Turner and Daniel Elendu helped Weston Ranch bolt out to a 15-4 lead to start the game.
The Lancers (3-2 VOL, 11-7) countered by using their size advantage — namely, Blake Greenlee. He scored 12 of game-high 23 points from late in the first quarter through early in the second.
At that point, the Lancers trimmed the lead, 20-16.
“For some reason, we went away (from going inside to Blake),” East Union coach Ryan Tarr said.
The Cougars orchestrated a 15-4 run to close out the half, with Melgarejo and Chedrick Ordonez both nailing 3s.
“We didn’t do a good job of defending the perimeter, we didn’t do a good job of contesting their shots,” said Tarr on his team trailing 35-20 at the half.
The Lancers did have Gyse Hulsebosch, who could quickly erase any deficit with his sizzling outside shooting.
He began to do just that in the third quarter.
But that came after Weston Ranch’s 13-2 burst paced by Turner, Wilburn, Melgarejo and Elendu.
Just like that, East Union was down 50-28.
Hulsebosch then caught fire, hitting four straight treys to close the gap to 12.
Greenlee found his outside stroke, cutting the deficit to single digits midway through the fourth, 54-46.
The Cougars milked the clock in the final four minutes, letting extra time melt away by coming up with offensive rebounds.
“When we don’t get rebounds, we can’t get our shots,” Tarr said.
Greenlee was the only one consistent on the glass with his 10 boards. He also had three blocks.
Hulsebosch finished with 19 points.