Money in the Bank! Junior guard Richard Banks (5) scored seven of his 14 points in the third quarter as Weston Ranch pulled away from Bullard in the opening round of the Holiday Hoop Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. The win snaps the Cougars' six-game losing streak. (Diego Hernandez)

Mobley catches fire, guides Cougars to opening win at Holiday Hoop Classic

James Burns

Elijah Mobley poured in 29 points as the Weston Ranch boys basketball team snapped a season-long six-game losing streak to advance in the winner’s bracket of the Holiday Hoop Classic.

Weston Ranch sophomore Darrion Lilly looks to turn on a Bullard defender during a 75-61 victory on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, at the Holiday Hoop Classic. (Diego Hernandez)

The Cougars outscored Bullard 22-9 in the third quarter to coast in their opening round game at the prestigious Northern California holiday tournament, 75-61.

Mobley did most of his work in the first half, scoring 18 of his game-high total as the Cougars surged into the break with a 39-35 lead. The senior guard played the role of closer, too, tallying nine of the team’s 14 fourth-quarter points.

Richard Banks, a 6-foot-4 junior, shouldered the scoring load during the decisive third-quarter push. He had seven of his 14 points during the stanza, including a 3-pointer.

Weston Ranch entered the game 0-6, but its record was misleading. The Cougars have played a national schedule during the first month of the season, including four games at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas against teams from Florida, Utah and Idaho.

Behind Mobley and Banks, the Cougars turned those tough losses into a double-digit victory over a large school from the Central Section. On Wednesday, Weston Ranch will square off against Vanden at 4 p.m.

Weston Ranch guard Elijah Mobley (3) shoots a floater over the top of the Bullard post during a 75-61 victory on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, at the Holiday Hoop Classic. Mobley scored 29 points for the Cougars, who take on Vanden during the second round on Wednesday. (Diego Hernandez)