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Lathrop hangs tough but struggles in post

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Host Sierra High's Alysia Atkins tries to muscle down the offensive rebound but is challenged by Lathrop defenders Krystal Ruiz, left, and Erica Sanchez in a Valley Oak League matchup Tuesday.


POSTED January 13, 2010 2:59 a.m.
Sierra completely dominated in the post, knocked down big shots from the perimeter and registered a new season high in points scored while dispatching visiting Lathrop’s young-but-promising first-year varsity squad 55-46 Tuesday.

Six-foot center Jaslynn Liotard was a commanding presence in the paint, as she led the way with 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Forward Alysia Atkins added four points and 12 boards, and reserve sophomore center Lia Unterholzner chipped in seven and six.
Lathrop was outrebounded 48-25 but still managed to stay within striking distance until the final minute.

“I like what we did tonight, we just can’t match up inside against the post players that most teams present to us,” said coach Ed Fang, who led Sierra’s freshman team for two seasons before taking the job at Lathrop last year. “We were trying to get position, we’re just lacking interior strength.

Guard Jasmine Currimao helped key Sierra’s balanced offensive effort in which 10 of 12 players contributed at least a point, turning in 10 to go with five assists.

The Timberwolves evened their Valley Oak League and overall records to 2-2 and 7-7.

“We’ve been working on driving, taking it to the hole and just attacking — not waiting for the game to come to us,” Sierra coach Steve Unterholzner said. “That’s the big thing, and that’s one of the things that helped us last week (in a tightly-contested 51-44 loss to defending champion East Union).

“Offensively I thought we did some great things, but the defensive effort was a little bit laxed.”

The two teams previously played in the second round of the Cosumnes Oaks Tournament in non-league action, with Sierra prevailing 50-32 thanks to a big second-half spurt.

Sierra was ahead 27-22 at halftime Tuesday and went on a 10-3 run to open the fourth quarter and stretch its lead to 51-35after leading Liotard hit a layup with 3:20 left.

Lathrop (0-4, 2-13), to its credit, showed some fight, as freshman guard Jazlyn Simon and Cheyenne Celada buried back-to-back 3-pointers to make it a single-digit deficit, 52-44.

“They’re a much better team than 2-13,” coach Unterholzner said. “They’re going to do some damage here in the near future in the VOL.

“Someone is going to overlook them and they’re going to take them down. They have some dangerous players.”

Sophomore forward Erica Sanchez led Lathrop with 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals before fouling out with 1:11 to go. Simon also finished with 12 points for the Spartans and added four assists.
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