GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cougars Tame Timberwolves

Weston Ranch’s girls varsity basketball defeated Sierra 53-48 last night at Sierra. The hard-fought victory over the Timberwolves kept the postseason alive for the Cougars with one game left to play.

“We had a great team effort last night,” said head coach Damion McMiller. “There were plenty of great moments, and we got a big win.”

Brianna Velasquez scored at the end of the first quarter to put the Cougars in front 18-16. Velasquez’s bucket was a great moment for the Cougars. It gave the Cougars the lead, and it was Velazquez’s first basket of the year.

“Bri’s basket was so important for us,” McMiller said. “It put us in front, and it was Bri’s first two points of the year. Her basket energized the team and our fans, and it gave us a boost.”

But, as the second quarter began, the Cougars lost the momentum, gave up 14 points, and found themselves trailing at halftime 30-24.

“We trialed Sierra by as much as 9 points in the second quarter,” said McMiller. “Towards the end of the 2nd quarter, thankfully, we made a little run to be down by six at the half.

So, down by six at halftime, the Cougars needed to find a way to get back into the game. It wasn’t a desperate situation, but the Cougars realized they had 16 minutes to figure out how to beat Sierra and keep their postseason hopes alive. McMiller’s team has had to battle back from deficits before, but the importance meant so much more last night, and they had to respond quickly.

And respond they did. The Cougars rattled off 20 third-quarter points while holding the Timberwolves to seven points.

“We made some adjustments and got a few defensive stops to gain the lead and hold it,” McMiller said. “We went back and forth with the lead. Then we made our run and got up by seven (44-37).”

Part of that run was a 3-pointer by Senior Vuntanique Brown. Brown’s basket gave the Cougars the lead, and they never looked back the rest of the contest.

The Timberwolves made a minor comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Cougars 11-9, but the Cougars were able to hold off the late T Wolf rally and hold on for the win.

After a few game absences, Janay Holmes returned to the lineup to lead the Cougars in scoring with 21 points. Brown chipped in with 12 points. Kimani Wilburn added eight points.

The Cougars had 55 total rebounds for the night. Brown and Anisa Hekimian both grabbed nine apiece. Akira Thornsayanh collected seven, and Wilburn had six.

“We have been through a lot this season, and these young ladies have grown a tremendous amount,” McMiller said. “I am not sure what our playoff future looks like, but we will be ready for what comes our way if we get a shot.”

McMiller added, “I want to thank all the parents, family, friends, and staff for their collective support. It meant a lot to our team.”

The Cougars wrap up VOL play against Central Catholic this Saturday at Weston Ranch. Game time is scheduled for 6:30.