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WR earns rare league victory

Posted: January 13, 2009 10:27 p.m.
Updated: January 14, 2009 4:55 a.m.
With only 10 league games, you must defend your home court.

That was the point made by West Ranch Tuesday in its Foothill League-opening 61-49 victory against Canyon at West Ranch High.

"We have a lot of seniors on this team," said West ranch head coach Sean LeGaux. "They know this is a 10-game season and you need to get off to a fast start and defend your home court if you are going to do well in the Foothill League."

The Wildcats (12-5, 1-0) did that from the start, leading 19-3 after one quarter.

The key for West Ranch was its early defense that caused six first quarter Canyon turnovers and other rushed shots leading to easy Wildcat buckets.

Another key turned out to be the two quick fouls on Wildcats starting center Geoff Petersen as it forced backup Hakeem Bradley into the game.

That change allowed Bradley to turn in a huge night on offense and defense.

The second quarter was more of the same, with Bradley pounding the glass and scoring in bunches. He scored 12 points by halftime. His biggest baskets, though, came after a 6-0 Cowboy run cut the lead from 22 points to 16.

Bradley converted two quick layups within 30 seconds to extend the lead and help the Wildcats to a 40-23 halftime lead.

The start of the second half was much different than the start of the first half, as the Cowboys (6-11, 0-1) quickly battled back. A run brought them to within 11 at 45-34, just four minutes into the half.

"I was proud of my boys at the start of the second half. They played hard and gave them our best punch," said Canyon head coach Chad Phillips. "Unfortunately, every time we made a run they had an answer."

But throughout the entire second half, the Cowboys just didn't have enough to overcome such a large deficit or the offensive prowess of Bradley.

Once again though, Petersen got in foul trouble and Bradley was summoned off the bench to stem the tide. After the Cowboys' initial burst, Bradley made a difficult layup to push the lead to 47-34 and the Cowboys could merely trade baskets as the game wore down.

In the fourth, it was all Bradley.

Bradley finished with a game-high 27 points, with eight coming in the fourth, and added 10 rebounds for the night. Erik Gould knocked down five 3-pointers to lead Canyon with 15 points.


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