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Prep boys soccer: W.R. makes the right moves

Wildcats counter Saugus’ game plan in victory

Posted: January 16, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 16, 2013 2:00 a.m.

It doesn’t seem to matter how opponents try to game plan against West Ranch boys basketball.

The Wildcats seem to have enough chess pieces to move around to counter the plan.

After a somewhat slow start, West Ranch went on a 15-0 run that started in the second quarter and ran away with a 73-57 win on Tuesday night at West Ranch High School.

“You have to understand the target on our back,” said West Ranch head coach Shant Bicakci. “Anytime you come out slow, teams are going to think, ‘We can beat West Ranch. We can beat West Ranch.’”

Ryan Beddeo led the Wildcats’ attack with 21 points, including 16 in the first half to help offset relatively quiet nights for the team’s usual scoring leaders, Ako Kaluna and Kevin Harris.

As the game went on, both settled in as Harris scored 17 and Kaluna added 12.

“Everybody has trust in each other to where we pass to the open man,” Beddeo said.

And it just so happened Beddeo found himself open consistently with Kaluna getting double teamed in the post.

Beddeo took advantage, making 7-of-10 shots.

The Centurions (10-10 overall, 0-3 Foothill League) played solid defense and made a fair number of jump shots early to pull ahead 23-22 midway through the second quarter.

That’s when the Wildcats (13-4, 3-0) ramped up the defensive pressure and started creating scoring chances in transition.

West Ranch finished the first half on a 12-0 run to take a 34-23 lead at the break.

“We turned the ball over and we started getting fouls, and they just went on a big run,” said Saugus senior Jeff Ashburn.

The momentum carried over to the second half for the Wildcats, who extended their lead to 43-25 before the Centurions finally stopped the bleeding with a Chris Lockwood 3-pointer.

“When we just sit down and play defense and do what we’re told and stay with our assignments, teams really shouldn’t be able to get off good shots against us,” Beddeo said.

Lockwood scored 11 points and was the only Saugus player in double figures. Amir Mirtabatabaie added nine points and Zach Garlitos had eight.

After West Ranch’s big run in the second and third quarter, Saugus never got closer than an 11-point deficit.

Harris heated up in the second half, making a pair of 3-pointers to keep the Wildcats with a comfortable lead.

Kaluna scored eight of his points in the final five minutes of the game. Saugus senior Jacob Dawe played excellent defense on him for most of the night.

While West Ranch remains unbeaten in league play, Saugus has lost its third straight to open the Foothill season.

“We definitely have to pull it together and tighten the screws,” Ashburn said.


On Twitter @agnewsports


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