NEWARK, CA – It was the Jaelen Ragsdale show on Saturday afternoon at Newark Memorial High School as the senior guard led Weston Ranch past Immanuel 82-77 in overtime in Game 3 of the Prep2Prep Tip-Off Classic.
Ragsdale, who finished with 38 points and three assists, was a major factor in the first half scoring 22 points and helping the Cougars build an eight-point halftime lead. The big half caused Immanuel to focus a majority of its defensive attention on Ragsdale, allowing for others to make an impact. Among the beneficiaries were Fred Lavender (22 points) and D’Angelo Finley (12 points).
“It’s just the flow of the game really. Just take what the defense gives me,” said Ragsdale, who was picked as the game MVP. “My shots were falling today, but it’s really just the flow of the game.”
Colin Slater II (28 points) and Darrin Person Jr. (25 points) led the way for Immanuel. Slater’s biggest moment came in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter when he knocked down two free throws to give Immanuel a 69-67 lead, its first lead since the 5:57 mark of the first quarter.
Lavender came through for Weston Ranch on the next possession, tying the game with 57 seconds to play in regulation to send the game to overtime. The senior guard continued to come through down the stretch, making a 3-ball while being fouled with 1:28 to play in overtime to put Weston Ranch up 77-71. Although Lavender did not complete the four-point play, that score and three more additional free throws sealed the victory for the Cougars.
Person was instrumental early for Immanuel, scoring 10 of the Eagles’ 21 first-quarter points. At 6-foot-6, he was taller than any Weston Ranch player to step on the court, forcing the Cougars to work hard on the glass to get rebounds.
“It didn’t look good early with (Person),” said Weston Ranch coach Chris Teevan. “We don’t have much depth up front either. I thought we started to battle; we don’t have a choice, we have got to box out.”
Person finished with 13 rebounds, but overall Weston Ranch was able to outrebound the Eagles 35-33, with a big performance on the glass from Finley, who finished with 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Immanuel will not play again until December 10, when the Eagles play in the Showdown on the River tournament, according to the team MaxPreps page. Weston Ranch will play in a charity game on Monday evening against Modesto Christian, but will not play in an official game until December 5, when the Cougars take on Salesian Prep.