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West Ranch boys basketball: WR makes its exit

Wildcats’ boys basketball team gives Compton too many chances

Posted: February 17, 2010 11:16 p.m.
Updated: February 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.
COMPTON - For various reasons, West Ranch has had to overcome tough obstacles for most of the season.

But this time, Compton's length and second-chance points were too much for West Ranch in a 75-48 loss in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs Wednesday at Compton High.

"We had a real difficult time matching up with their athleticism," said West Ranch head coach Sean LeGaux. "We talked a lot about screening out and taking care of the basketball, but when they missed their threes, they got second and third chances a lot."

The Wildcats (12-15), who have dealt with youth and injuries this season, only trailed 18-15 after the first quarter thanks to freshman center Ako Kaluna, who scored seven points in the paint.

Kaluna finished with 12, while the Wildcats also got a big night from Eli Lucas, who scored a team-high 15 points.

But eventually Compton was able to shut down the middle, and West Ranch began to struggle on offense.

Compton's Anthony January hit a 3-pointer to help push his team's lead to 31-19 before LeGaux asked for his second timeout with three minutes left in the first half.

But the Tarbabes kept hitting from inside and outside.

It didn't help West Ranch that the Tarbabes' height gave the Wildcats fits all over the floor when they pressed, forcing 13 turnovers in the first half.

Compton's Cliff Sims Jr. took a steal the length of the court that he finished with a two-handed dunk to give his team a 34-19 advantage.

Meanwhile, West Ranch only scored eight points in the second quarter, and Compton (15-12) capitalized courtesy of January.

"They had to get the jitters out early," said Compton head coach Tony Thomas of his team. "But we wanted to keep the pressure up and that enabled us to push our offense."

January scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the first half, most of those coming in the second quarter when the Tarbabes took control of the game and a 41-23 lead into the break.

Compton continued to stay hot in the second half and had a 29-16 edge in rebounding.

"We got outrebounded and then we just lost momentum," Yumul said. "Really we didn't hustle back enough for rebounds."

As the Wildcats became frustrated, they fell out of character and had trouble with fundamental plays such as missed layups and second-chance baskets that they had relied on all year.

"This is the best team we've faced all year, by far," LeGaux said, "These young guys learned a lot about the little things you need to do against a really athletic team."


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