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West Ranch hoops escapes Golden Valley

Wildcats win 82-70 in front of raucous crowd

Posted: January 24, 2014 10:28 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2014 10:28 p.m.
 

Golden Valley High boys basketball nearly ended the streak.

Grizzly Jordan Watkins’ 3-point play with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter sent Friday night’s matchup against West Ranch to overtime.

But it was all West Ranch from there in an 82-70 Wildcats win at Golden Valley.

“I thought we had them. I thought we were there,” said Golden Valley head coach Dan Alon.

The Grizzlies (7-11 overall, 0-4 Foothill League) flirted with breaking their now 34-game Foothill League losing streak earlier this season against Valencia. They came even closer on Friday.

But ultimately West Ranch (9-11, 2-2) started overtime on a 10-1 run, highlighted by an Izayah Doyle slam dunk.

“The whole year he has been Mr. consistent,” said West Ranch head coach Shant Bicakci of Doyle. “He does whatever he has to for us to win.”

Doyle had to bounce back from a first half in which he sat for almost a quarter with foul trouble. He scored 14 critical points in the second half and overtime, including two free throws to put West Ranch up 60-58 with 4:38 left in the fourth after a 7-0 Grizzly run.

In the second half, the Grizzlies went inside to Watkins, who scored 16 of his 18 points after the break.

In overtime however, he took only one shot.

“Late in the game we took some ill-advised shots,” Alon said.

For West Ranch, the road back to .500 in league play after an 0-2 start has been harder than most would’ve expected entering a week with games against Saugus and Golden Valley. But after narrowly escaping both games Bicakci isn’t taking anything for granted.

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