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Wildcats boys basketball edges feisty Cowboys

It comes down to the wire, but West Ranch makes a big stop at the end

Posted: January 30, 2009 10:12 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2009 4:55 a.m.
With the Canyon boys basketball team down by two with 13 second left to go in the game, everyone in the Cowboys' gym knew where the ball was going.

Sure enough, just like West Ranch had anticipated, the ball flew to the Cowboys' Mike Edwards, who was double-covered and forced into an off-balance miss from 3-point land with one second left and the Wildcats (14-8, 3-3) escaped with a 46-43 victory Friday night.

"We figured they were going to (Edwards) so we knew we were going to get a quick trap on him," said West Ranch head coach Sean LeGaux. "We were going to make someone else beat us. He wasn't going to take that shot."

Edwards did get the shot, but like the Wildcats had planned, he took a tough shot that barely drew iron.

"We didn't run it right," said Canyon head coach Chad Phillips of the last play. "But we had plenty of opportunities to put a lead up on the board and we failed to do that."

Neither team, however, was at full strength as the Wildcats' Hakeem Bradley was out due to the flu, and for Canyon (7-15, 1-5), Jonathan Lawson and Brandon Perry were both out with the same illness.

With the backups getting extra playing time on both teams, the offenses struggled to find points and it was 35-32 West Ranch heading into the fourth quarter. West Ranch then took a five-point lead before Canyon battled back for a 41-41 tie with 3:20 to go.

Both teams then failed to open a lead before Wildcat Will Tate tipped in a miss from Geoff Petersen with 13 seconds to go for a 45-43 lead.

"That was just Will Tate making a great play," LeGaux said. "He created all night. He was our leader on the floor tonight."

A free throw from Wildcat point guard Beau Martin provided the final score. Martin led all scorers with 11 points, while Edwards led the Cowboys with nine.

For Petersen, who filled in for Bradley - who is currently averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds in Foothill League play - the win gave the second-stringers confidence and left him with just one request for next week.

"I just play as hard as I can and see what happens," Petersen said. "But, I just hope (Bradley) is ready by next Tuesday."


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