Boys Basketball: Strong defense earns West victory over Stagg
by Bob Brownne
Jan 25, 2013 | 4325 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
West hangs on for win
West High senior Ernest Turner (left) loses the ball as he collides with a Stagg High player near midcourt Wednesday, Jan. 23, at West High.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The Wolf Pack relied on a persistent defense Wednesday, Jan. 23, to log a 59-48 home win over the Stagg Delta Kings.

West (16-6, 3-2 Tri-City Athletic League) outrebounded the Kings (5-16, 0-5) thanks to senior forward Obrien Nnaji, who made his presence under the net known with 14 boards and 14 points.

“My mindset was just box out and go for every ball that comes off the rim,” Nnaji said. “Just stay aggressive.”

It took a scoring run for West in the second quarter, fueled by a couple 3-point shots from senior forward Justin Saar and another from senior guard Ernest Turner, to erase and early Stagg lead and put the Wolf Pack in control of the game.

Stagg got within two points in the third quarter before West’s Kenneth Daye, the game’s leading scorer with 18 points, hit a string of shots.

West coach Derek Sprecksel said Turner, with nine points and three assists, stepped up for starting guard DeAndre Thompson, who was out with an injury, and guard DeAndre Thomas, who was out sick.

“We weren’t spectacular, but we were good enough to win by 11,” Sprecksel said.

Wednesday’s win follows the Wolf Pack’s 81-50 win on Friday, Jan. 18, over the visiting Edison Vikings of Stockton.

The Vikings pulled within five points of West late, narrowing what was a 39-29 halftime lead, before West senior forward Michael Young nailed two quick 3-point shots, followed by another outside shot from senior guard Hayden Ordone.

The Wolf Pack hit nine 3-pointers in the game, which Sprecksel attributed to heads-up passing — players repeatedly drove to the inside and then kicked the ball to the open shooter.

“We’ve got to work to get those opportunities,” Sprecksel said. “I think getting more rebounds and getting some more points in the paint created more opportunities for kickout 3s, too.”

Sierra 62, Kimball 44

The Timberwolves came out strong in the third quarter against the Jaguars on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Sierra High in Manteca to open the second round of Valley Oak League play.

Kimball (10-11, 2-6 VOL) kept up the pace with league leader Sierra (18-3, 8-0) through the first half, but the Timberwolves took control on both ends of the court in the third quarter.

Kimball’s offensive leader for the night was senior guard DeVante Baise, who had 14 points. Seniors Alex Toledo and Evan Owens scored seven each.

It was the third loss in the past week for the Jaguars.

The East Union Lancers turned the tables on the Jaguars on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Kimball High, 54-46.

Though Jaguars were ahead 29-25 at the half, the Lancers (14-5, 3-4 VOL) pulled ahead in the third quarter and shut down Kimball in the fourth.

Toledo was the Jaguars’ leading scorer with 10 points.

Last week, the Jaguars were nearly able to overcome Weston Ranch’s early advantage Jan. 17, in Stockton, but finished with a 67-66 loss.

Kimball trailed the Cougars (13-6, 7-0) 55-48 at the end of the third quarter, but closed in during the fourth quarter.

Kimball senior guard DeVante Baisa scored 16 points to lead Kimball, and junior guard Ben Juarez tossed in 13.

Bear Creek 65, Tracy 58

Tracy suffered another loss Wednesday, Jan. 23, at home to the Bear Creek Bruins to drop to fifth place in the San Joaquin Athletic Association.

Tracy coach Junior Cueva said the loss was far from discouraging, saying the Bulldogs (5-15, 1-4 SJAA) were able to hold the lead until the third quarter, when the Bruins (11-11, 3-2) went on a scoring run.

Leading the way for Tracy was senior forward Luke Hanna with 18 points and four rebounds. Junior center Josh Brakkee had 15 points and eight rebounds.

Cueva said the Bulldogs are getting better going into the second half of the league season.

“We’ve been playing our best basketball for the past two or three games,” he said.

Tracy took an early lead on Friday, Jan. 18, against Chavez High in Stockton before the Titans turned the game around in the fourth quarter to win it 62-51.

Stockton Christian 76, Delta Charter 68

Delta Charter’s first loss in the Mountain Valley League on Friday, Jan. 18, vaulted the Stockton Christian Eagles into the league’s top spot.

Stockton Christian (9-6, 5-0 MVL) came out strong in the first quarter against Delta Charter (6-7, 5-1 MVL) to build a 26-11 lead.

The Dragons outscored the Eagles in the second and fourth quarters but couldn’t make up the early deficit.

Junior guard Jordan Thornton and senior center Joseph Peebles led the Dragons’ offense with 28 points each, including seven 3-pointers for Thornton. Peebles also grabbed 15 rebounds.

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or
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