Wildcats boys basketball shows versatility in win against Stockdale

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While the 3-point shot continues to be a rising trend in basketball no matter the level, the West Ranch boys basketball team reminded those in attendance at Burbank High School on Monday how crucial it is to have a formidable low post game.

Utilizing its big men down low throughout the night, West Ranch (4-1) defeated Stockdale 63-53 in its first game of the 2018 Burbank Tournament.

Using a handful of clever post moves, junior Clyde Seo was a force in the paint leading the Wildcats in scoring with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field.

Not only was Seo scoring efficiently on the block, he displayed his all-around game by also leading the team with eight rebounds and four assists.

“I’ve been pretty versatile my whole career,” Seo said. “I used to play point in middle school, so I developed those skills.”

When Seo took a break from doing damage down low, it was senior Robbie Myers who was throwing his weight around in the post.

Myers finished with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and added seven rebounds and an assist.

“Our offense is great when it runs through me and Robbie out of the post,” Seo said. “We’re really good at passing it out and we can score when we want.”

“Every game Robbie and Clyde are always incredible,” said senior Alex Grant. “They’re strong getting to the basket and score at ease. Having them down there helps a lot.”

Grant, who is normally one of West Ranch’s top scorers, struggled offensively on Monday, scoring just two points on six shots.

Despite the lack of scoring, his presence was certainly felt on the court as he hustled for loose balls and played hard-nosed defense.

He finished with six rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block.

“It’s a team game, so if my shot is not falling I have to get my teammates open, help them out and cheer them on,” Grant said. “Everything else will fall in line after that.”

“Alex is a good leader. If things aren’t going his way he doesn’t sit, he doesn’t mope. He gets everybody involved and is the loudest cheerleader on the bench if he’s not in,” said West Ranch head coach Ron Manalastas. “Having him on the floor or off the floor is good for the kids. In practice, he’s a good example of what I want. He knows how to perform and how to practice.”

Along with an effective postgame, the Wildcats also made it a point to get out and run, scoring quickly on transition.

Seniors Carter Williams and Deaken Stangl were often leading the fast breaks, speeding past Stockdale defenders, driving the lane and drawing contact.

“We just want to rebound and run, that’s what we do. If it’s not there, pound it inside,” Manalastas said. “When you have a Robbie and Clyde inside or a Carter Williams or Alex Grant that can run the floor, we’re looking quick. If there’s nothing quick, now it’s time to dump it inside.”

Williams finished with nine points, five rebounds and two assists and Stangl added 12 points, four rebounds, one assist and a block.

Junior Cooper Ney was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and shot 4-of-5 from the free throw line to finish with 12 points and three rebounds.

West Ranch moves on to face Camarillo, who defeated LACES 111-27 on Monday, in the second game of the tournament.

The game is set to tip off at 5 p.m. at Burbank High School on Wednesday.

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