Facing an undefeated Camarillo team in the second round of the Burbank Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night, West Ranch came out fast and physical, keeping up with the Scorpions in the initial period.
However, the Wildcats couldn’t keep up the pace as a four-point first quarter deficit turned into a 25-point margin by halftime.
West Ranch (4-2) came out of the break with the same intensity that it displayed in the first quarter, but it was too little too late, as they fell to Camarillo (5-0) 101-63.
“We didn’t quit, doesn’t matter what the score says. We battled back,” said head coach Ron Manalastas. “What I look at is we competed for a quarter. Now if we can string three quarters together after that, we’re going to be just fine.”
Deaken Stangl got things going for the Wildcats from the get-go, scoring the first basket of the contest. Clyde Seo and Robbie Myers continued to do what they’ve been doing all season: pound the ball inside.
Seo led the Wildcats with 19 points and five rebounds and Myers added eight points and six boards. Stangl finished with eight points and four rebounds.
While West Ranch came out with a lot of energy, they moved too quickly at times, leading to several unforced turnovers.
“In terms of the effort, it was great,” Manalastas said. “It just boils down to they made more shots. They got more opportunities and we turned the ball over. I told the guys you can’t have self-inflicting wounds and expect to compete with a team like this. It’s not going to happen.”
UCLA commit Jaime Jaquez led the way for Camarillo, who made the game look effortless at times with his 3-point shooting and ability to get in the lane.
Seo was inserted into the starting lineup to guard Jaquez, and despite giving up at least six inches to the senior from Camarillo, he did a respectable job guarding him.
Manalastas said he inserted Seo into the lineup for that exact reason, to body up Jaquez.
Cooper Ney provided a spark for the Wildcats off the bench with 12 points. Alex Grant had 11 points.
West Ranch will face Roosevelt High School on Friday in the consolation bracket.
“There are things we have to clean up, but the good thing is there is another game. It’s just one game in a long season,” Manalastas said. “If we can learn from it, watch film and see the type of energy that these types of teams bring and match that, emulate that, we’ll be just fine.”