Boys Varsity Basketball Season Opener

Colin Park, Sports Writer

With winter sports kicking off their seasons, the Boys Varsity Basketball team has created lots of noise. Following their success in the summer, the Wildcats began the season in the Providence Tournament. During these games, the Wildcats dominated the competition against teams like the Centennial Hawks, Palisades and Maranatha. The win against these three teams placed West Ranch against highly ranked Notre Dame in the championship. Led by Andrew Meadow’s and Jazz Gardner’s combined thirty-nine points, the team was able to pull out a close game, 66-64.

Junior guard Carsen Yahata explained, “I think by winning the Providence Tournament, it gave us a lot of confidence because we beat an open division team, so we know we can compete with the best.” Furthermore, the addition of some new talent, as well as a first place finish in the tournament, skyrocketed the Wildcats’ ranking to twenty-second in the country and fourth in the state.

With these rankings, the Wildcats will compete against other highly ranked national teams, including the “Corona Centennial Huskies in the playoffs,” said captain and Boise State commit Andrew Meadow. Some other highly anticipated games and tournaments include San Ysidro, the Tarkanian Classic and Classic at Damien. 

Before reaching these games, the Wildcats played Canyon High School for their first home game of the season. Throughout the first half, the team struggled offensively, and by throwing multiple careless passes, the Cowboys were able to put up many fast break points. Regardless of their early struggles, the starters were able to pull the game out, with most of them scoring in the double digits. 

Ending in a 80-50 victory over Canyon, West Ranch faced the Saugus Centurions next. Despite being undersized, a half court man-to-man press and double team of the Centurions made it hard for the Wildcats to create a big gap in the score. In the second half, Saugus tried to come out with more physicality and hustle, but in the long run, this decision would be costly. Various technical fouls given to the Saugus coach and players would eliminate any momentum that they tried to build. In fact, tensions built up so high that the players got into altercations, many having to be pulled back by coaches and staff. As the final buzzer sounded, Jaquaria Miles finished the game with twenty five points and Andrew Meadow with nineteen points to prove West Ranch superior in a 95-59 win.

Next up, West Ranch faced their Foothill league rival, the Valencia Vikings. After a neck and neck first half, numerous turnovers by the Vikings allowed for easy fast break dunks, giving the Cats the energy they needed. West Ranch’s Coach Bryant explained that in order to win this game, they had to “bump it up” in the second half. With an undefeated record so far, the Wildcats hope to win both state and CIF championships. Make sure to support the Cats in their next Foothill games coming back from winter break.