Talented West Ranch comes together at the right time – Daily News

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SAUGUS — The West Ranch boys’ basketball team is brimming with talent. James Evans is a six-foot sophomore who can skype for dunks and shoot a smooth jumper. Junior striker Andrew Meadow is a hard-core powerhouse with an interest in NCAA Division I. Point guard Jaqari Miles can dazzle with his open-field cunning.

However, every time the Wildcats had a chance at a win, they fell short: a 100-72 loss to Sierra Canyon; a 62-61 loss to Crossroads; an 83-54 loss to Harvard-Westlake; and a 78-77 loss to Riverside Poly.

But lately it’s coming together. West Ranch defeated Anaheim’s Fairmont Prep 76-74 on Saturday and defeated Saugus impressively with an 82-70 Foothill League win Tuesday night.

Miles and freshman Bryce Cofield each scored 20 points and led West Ranch (11-6, 5-0) to roster victory, putting the Wildcats in the driver’s seat for a second straight league title. Meadow had 19 points and Evans added a cool 13, including an emphatic two-handed jam in the third quarter.

West Ranch finished the first quarter with a 20-5 run before taking a 46-25 lead at halftime. The Wildcats later extended the lead to 27 after Miles scored on a coast-to-coast layup to make it 56-29.

Brandon Perez led Saugus by 18 points and helped narrow West Ranch’s fourth-quarter deficit, but the comeback bid never hit single digits.

West Ranch finished 10-0 in the Foothill League last season before losing in the CIF Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinals to Agoura. Now the Wildcats are in Division 1 and on the CIF’s Open Division watchlist.

The Wildcats wouldn’t look out of place in the bottom half of the Open Division, but their resume won’t earn them a place in the almighty division this season, but they’ll get their chance to make some noise in Division 1.

Sierra Canyon 85, Brentwood 60: Ramel Lloyd Jr. had 18 points, Bronny James scored 16 and Amari Bailey scored 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Trailblazers’ Gold Coast League win

Granada Hills 85, Canoga Park 25: Khalil Forrester had 26 points for the Highlanders.

Heritage Christian 69, Valley Christian 50: Tae Simmons scored 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Warriors. Barrington Hargress had 21 points and eight rebounds.

Campbell Hall 80, Paraclete 66: Aaron Powell is becoming a decent player as a sophomore. He led the Vikings with 24 points and eight assists.

Village Christian 69, Maranatha 58: Immanuel Taylor scored 24 points and Thomas Luczak added in the Crusaders’ Olympic League victory.

Upwind 67, Viewpoint 66: Giovanni Goree led Viewpoint by 32 points in the close Gold Coast loss.

Pilibos 66, Milk 63: Antranik Balian made a game-winning 3-pointer on the buzzer to give Pilibos the Liberty League victory. Balian had 20 points and teammate Andrew Abkarian had 20 points and eight rebounds.

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