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West Ranch finds a cure

Wildcats get healthy and win second straight game

Posted: February 3, 2009 10:04 p.m.
Updated: February 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.

West Ranch boys basketball may be getting healthy at the right time.

After battling various injuries and illnesses, West Ranch was able to run out its full assembly of talent on Tuesday en route to a 68-58 home win over Saugus.

Forward Hakeem Bradley made his return to the floor after missing a pair of games for the Wildcats (15-8, 4-3), and all-time West Ranch leading scorer David Franklin made his return to the scoring column after being shut out for the first time in his career against Canyon Friday.

"I thought David played great tonight," said West Ranch head coach Sean LeGaux. "He really challenged himself to play a good game, and he did it. Hopefully, he's got his mojo back."

Franklin's efforts produced a team-leading 15 points, while Mark Watanabe and Joey Fredrick put in 12 each to pace Saugus (10-13, 2-5).

"We're getting back to playing our style of basketball, but if we aren't healthy enough to press then we have a tough time scoring because we don't have a whole lot of size," said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard of his team, which has also battled its share of health problems. "We just didn't hit our shots consistently enough to win tonight."

Saugus started out sharp from the field, building a 16-10 lead after one quarter, but the Centurions went cold in the second.

While the Cents cooled off, the Wildcats heated up behind Beau Martin's 10 second-quarter points to take a 31-28 lead into the break.

"We were able to handle their offense with our zone, and we made our shots," LeGaux said. "(Saugus) got some good looks, but their jumpers weren't really dropping, and we were able to hold them to one shot on most of their possessions."

West Ranch buckled down on defense in the third, holding Saugus to seven points as the Wildcats built an 11 point lead heading into the fourth. A 33-33 tie quickly turned into a 46-33 spread thanks to a 13-0 run for West Ranch that featured threes from three different Wildcats.

"I'm still happy we played a full game tonight," Ballard said. "When we got down in the second half we didn't hang our heads."

Even though Saugus hung tough, the West Ranch zone and the Cents' spotty shooting prevented Saugus from cutting the lead under 10 in the fourth quarter, and West Ranch led by as many as 18.

"We're getting healthy. It's good to have Hakeem back out there," LeGaux said of his big man, who threw down a dunk in the fourth quarter for his only points in the game. "If we can keep everybody on the court we might be able to put things together."


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