In the first game of the day in The Warrior Classic, West Ranch boys basketball went up against Viewpoint at Bishop Alemany on Friday.
Forcing a turnover on Viewpoints’ first possession, which resulted in a Clyde Seo layup, the Wildcats played like they had something to prove for four quarters and came away with the 65-60 win.
“We played well in moments,” said West Ranch head coach Ron Manalastas. “Definitely not the intensity or level when we played Heritage Christian, but a win is a win. Guys came out and played big in crucial moments.”
In the early going, Seo and Robbie Myers took advantage of their opportunities by using their size and footwork to get in the lane and create easy buckets for the Wildcats, which gave them a 15-13 lead after one quarter.
Myers missed a double-double by one rebound, scoring 19 points and pulling down nine rebounds while Seo finished with two points, five rebounds and two assists.
“We were coming off a hard loss yesterday to Heritage Christian, which I thought we could have beat,” Myers said. “We played good yesterday, but we had to come harder today so I had to step it up with all the hard competition coming.”
Trying to limit the number of 3’s that Viewpoint could put up, West Ranch (7-4) came out in a zone to begin the second. As a result, the Wildcats gave up a number of second-chance opportunities allowing the Patriots to battle back within a point with just seconds to go in the half.
Determined to extend the West Ranch lead, Deaken Stangl drove into the lane, spun and hit a two-pointer as the clock expired giving West Ranch 29-26 lead heading into the half.
Hanging around with their 3-point shooting, Viewpoint (2-8) came out firing, erasing the deficit in the opening minutes of the second half.
Picking up where he left off at the end of the first half, Stangl took matters into his own hands, utilizing his size and shooting ability to hit knockdown 3’s as well as driving into the lane and using the glass for the kiss.
“I just felt like my coach put me in a position to be aggressive,” Stangl said.
Stangl finished the night with 17 points.
Just before the end of the quarter with under seven seconds to go, Sage Kita knocked down a half-court shot as he was falling down to extend the West Ranch lead to 48-38 with eight minutes to play in the game.
“I was right behind him and I thought he was going to pass to the left because he usually passes it, but he shot it and made it,” Myers said. “It was a cool moment.”
Viewpoint was able to make it a game in the final three minutes as the Wildcats opted to bring in their subs, but were able to keep them at bay to secure the win.
West Ranch plays its final game in The Warrior Classic tomorrow against Campbell Hall at 1 p.m. at Heritage Christian.