Westlake Makes Its Points With Royal, 85-65 : Boys' basketball: Warriors win their own tournament, send Highlanders a message.


Royal High Coach Larry Wiksell expressed concern about having to face Westlake in the final of its own tournament.

"This could be good or bad," Wiksell said. "I don't like having to face league opponents outside of league."

After watching Westlake guard Jake Stewart score a career-high 29 points in the Warriors' 85-65 victory, Wiksell is probably even more certain.

Westlake (6-2) got into the groove early when it led, 22-19, after one quarter.

"The way our offense works, we need to look up and see 20 points a quarter on the scoreboard," Westlake Coach Gary Grayson said.

Royal (9-3) missed its first seven shots, but managed to stay close with strong rebounding.

"We had some easy putbacks that we missed early," Wiksell said. "If we made those it could have been a different game."

After leading, 41-31, at halftime, the Warriors went on a 17-4 run. Westlake did an impressive job of taking Royal guard Marques Pena out of his game.

"Stopping Pena was one of our goals tonight," Grayson said. "We wanted to take the ball out of his hands and make some other people move it around."

Pena finished with a season-low four points.

"Tonight we sent a message to Royal," Grayson added. "They are the team everyone is picking at the top [of the league] and we want them to notice us too."

Royal's Ryan Nielsen scored 25 points and Nick Flanagan added 14. However, Flanagan scored only two in the second half.

Westlake got 16 points from Steve Aylsworth, the tournament most valuable player, and seven blocked shots from center Jeremiah Nesbitt.

In other tournament games:

Saugus 68, Rialto 63--The Centurions rallied from a 13-point first-quarter deficit to take third place. Tim Faulconer led Saugus (6-4) with 22 points, including nine in the second quarter.

Ventura 59, Cleveland 58--The Cougars (3-3) came back from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to win the consolation title.

Charles Dixon, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, made the winning shot with 20 seconds left.

Birmingham 53, San Marcos 43--Ellis Richardson scored 16 points for the Braves (5-5) in a consolation game.

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