Robert Garcia and Augie Palomera also played well for El Rancho. They each scored 13 points. Palomera also made three 3-point baskets and Garcia connected twice. Garcia finished with six assists. The Dons also played strong defense, forcing 16 Whittier turnovers. WHITTIER – Outside shooting and defensive pressure lifted El Rancho High School to a 57-46 Del Rio League boys basketball victory Wednesday over Whittier. The Dons (5-14, 1-1) converted eight 3-point baskets en route to the win. Bobby Avina, who led all scorers with 24 points, sank three 3-pointers. The hot outside shooting lifted the Dons to a 14-2 lead. But the Cardinals responded with a 13-0 run. An aggressive Whittier defense helped key the rally as it forced several El Rancho turnovers during the span. Enriquez made back-to-back field goals to cut the El Rancho lead to 14-10. The Cardinals then took a 15-14 lead on Ricky Kamayatsu’s 3-pointer. The Dons turned the tables as they dominated the rest of the second quarter. El Rancho ended the first half with a 14-2 surge. Avina contributed six points and Garcia capped the run with a 3-pointer. Trailing 39-21 in the third quarter, the Cardinals once again fought back. Defensive pressure and balanced scoring helped the Cardinals cut the Dons’ lead to 45-41. But the Cardinals would not draw any closer. The Dons seized control with back-to-back baskets from Avina and Christian Cervantes. email@example.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2801 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We had a tremendously hard preseason so we’re trying to get stronger with every game,” El Rancho coach Frank Llanes said. “Augie had a big game for us and Robert did a good job running the show. For our point guard to distribute the ball like that is excellent. “Any time you can get a win at Whittier is good because they’re tough to beat in their gym. They bring it every night. There is not a moment you can rest.” Hugo Cisneros led Whittier (6-11, 0-2) with 10 points. Ed Kim and Daniel Enriquez scored nine points apiece for the host Cardinals. “There’s a lot of stuff to work on,” Whittier coach Mike Varos said. “I was really impressed with Enriquez. It was his first varsity game.” The Dons’ perimeter game quickly caught fire as they raced out to a 9-2 lead. All nine points came from 3-point range. Avina made two of the 3-pointers, with the second coming after a Palomera steal.