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Area freshmen Making their mark in varsity

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Lathrop High will lean on the excellent guard play of freshman Jazlyn Simon over the next three seasons on the varsity level.

Bulletin file photos/

POSTED January 26, 2010 2:05 a.m.

Making the adjustment from grade school to high school is a tough transition.

Stepping on to the high school varsity athletic scene as a freshman and having an impact is nearly unheard of.

But this season, four area basketball players have made their transition to high school and in the process have added key components to their respective basketball team’s Valley Oak League seasons.

Freshmen Jordan Kron, Mikayla Hasal, Jazlyn Simon and Emoni Wilson have all produced ahead of the curve, making positive impacts in their first season of high school athletics.

Kron’s in the starting lineup for Lancer program that his father, Gary Kron, is the current all-time leading scorer for with 1,806 career points. Gary made his way onto the varsity squad by mid-season of his freshman year, so Jordan hasn’t missed a contest. The sharp-shooting current Lancer is leading the area in 3-pointers made with 61, connecting on 41 perccent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

Jordan has not been fazed by the level of play the VOL boasts, helping East Union’s realistic playoff hopes with consistent play from the point guard spot. He’s averaging 18 points per game, 2.5 steals and 2.5 assists. He has sunk 84 percent of his foul shots, taking fouling him off the ways to stop him chart.

“Me being from East Union and playing in ’05, Jordan was our water boy,” Lancer head coach Brett Lewis said. “He has been around the games since he was very young and even back then he was small and kind of little, but he could still light it up.

“Me personally, I have known Jordan to be a scorer for a long time, so to see what he is doing at the varsity level as a freshman is not completely a shock.

“I sort of saw this coming.”

Hasal is the starting point guard for a Manteca High girls basketball squad in contention for a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff spot. Hasal has made immediate impact this VOL season, averaging 10.1 points per game, dishing out 4.1 assists, to go along with just over three rebounds and steals a contest.

Hasal joins a group of returning Buffaloes but has done more than just fit in alongside Manteca starters Sharon Washington and Cynthia Perez.

“Mikayla really gives us that nice cushion,” Manteca head coach Andrea Hiatt said. “She complements Sharon so well because she is so great with the ball in her hands. Mikayla creates so much offensively that it really gives us balance.

“She used to be like a role player on our team and now she’s such a scoring threat, that teams are having to focus on her.”

The Lathrop Spartans are partaking in their first VOL season at the varsity level, so it is only fitting that Simon will be the glue that will hold the program together over the next few seasons. Simon has played phenomenally for head coach Ed Fang and the Spartans. She erupted for a season high 21 points in a Consumnes Oaks Tournament game against Encina High.

Simon’s averaging 11.3 points thus far in VOL play, handing out 2.2 assists and swiping 1.6 steals a game. Lathrop is a young program, but its future looks optimistically bright with Simon at the helms.

“Jazlyn has really enabled us to get down the court in a hurry and set up our offense,” Fang said of his starting point guard. “She puts a lot of pressure on the defense because of her driving ability and ball handling. Even though our players are a couple of years older than her, she gets along great with everybody.

“She has fallen right into the path of a future leader for us.”

Weston Ranch is currently resting in second place of the girls VOL standings, and that has a lot to do with the play of guard Wilson. Wilson has been a constant force for the Cougars on the defensive end and is averaging just over five points and five rebounds a contest. Her numbers have spiked in league play, where she put up consecutive games of nine points, six rebounds in wins over Ceres and East Union.

“Any sort of contribution from a freshman on the varsity level is a huge deal,” Weston Ranch head coach Chris Bauer said. “Emoni has really stepped up and done well. She usually defends the top contender on the other team and does a good job of keeping them in check. She rebounds well; she’s gotten smarter with her shots.

“She is getting a lot of minutes and making a big impact for us.”

These players have opened their high school careers on the fast track to success. Few players have been able to find their way into varsity starting lineups as freshman, making the futures of these four players something worth tracking over the next three seasons.

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