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Boys' basketball: West Ranch moves into the finals

December 7, 2012 |  8:36 pm

_C071979West Ranch survived a furious comeback by Chaminade to win 67-65 and advance to the finals of the Santa Monica tournament.

The Wildcats led by as many as 17 points in the first half and held a 13-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Chaminade's Griffin Cohen missed a three-point attempt from the corner and Max Tinsley's last-second tip rolled off the rim as time expired.

Kevin Harris led the Wildcats (4-0) with 19 points. Zac Nuttall had 16, Ben Johnson had 13 and Ako Kahuna added 12 points.  

"We knew after battling all the way back they'd go for three," West Ranch Coach Shant Bicakci said. "I thought the team showed great toughness to pull this out."

Jaron Martin scored 27 points and Cohen added 15 points on five three-pointers for the Eagles (2-1), who scored 65 points in a loss for the second straight game. They had lost by four points to El Camino Real in the quarterfinals.  

"Our plan was 'No threes and no fouls," Harris said. "We didn't want [Cohen] to shoot it. I think that was the first three he missed all game."

The Wildcats defeated Palmdale and Alemany to reach the semifinals and will play the Santa Monica-Loyola winner for the championship Saturday. 

-- Steve Galluzzo

Caption: Ako Kaluna of West Ranch tries to score over Chaminade's Trevor Stanback during West Ranch's 67-65 overtime victory. Credit: Steve Galluzzo / For The Times