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Oakdale onslaught leaves Lathrop with loss

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Lathrop High's Jasmine Elder looks for the pass during recent Valley Oak League action.


POSTED January 31, 2010 2:14 a.m.
LATHROP – By the time Lathrop High’s girls varsity basketball team found a handle on its Valley Oak League contest with Oakdale High, the Mustangs were in the midst of an 18-2 run and easily on their way to a 51-28 win over the Spartans Saturday.

Lathrop (0-11 VOL, 2-19 overall) had no answer for Oakdale leading scorer Cassandra Clark. Clark got going in a hurry, scoring 10 of her game-high 21 points in the opening period.

“Cassandra had the hot hand early in the game,” Oakdale head coach Gary Smith said. “She hit two 3’s and then she got a couple of breakaways and that really helped us get off to a good, positive start.”

The Spartans showed the determination that the squad has shown throughout the season, clawing through adversity in the game’s opening moments to put together minutes of solid basketball the team is capable of playing.

Freshman Jazlyn Simon helped the Spartans get going in the latter half of the contest, finishing with a team-high 16 points. Yet, even Lathrop’s best effort down the stretch would not be enough to conquer the insurmountable deficit.

“Oakdale was prepared to play today,” Lathrop head coach Ed Fang said. “They came out and were hitting all of their shots in their half-court. We came out and tried a little press on them, but it wasn’t effective.

“They came out ready, and it took us awhile to get going.”

Lathrop outscored Oakdale (5-4, 14-5) 26-25 in the final two periods, really picking things up with a 20-point fourth quarter. Erica Sanchez scored eight for the Spartans, while Jasmine Elder and Krystal Ruiz both chipped in four. Britney Rallios shared the bulk of the ball handling with Simon and was a defensive stability for Lathrop throughout the second half.

The loss is Lathrop’s 10th consecutive, with the squad dropping each of its VOL contests thus far. Obviously not winning has to take its toll, yet the Spartans played hard for four quarters, giving off the impression that there is still an abundance of appreciation for the game.

“I actually still love this game,” Simon said. “With us not wining it makes things a little more urgent, so we are still working hard each game and each practice. We are never going to lose our love for the game because we don’t win.

“We kind of feel like the (New Jersey) Nets; we’re going to win some game.”

Lathrop will continue its quest for its first league win when they travel to Manteca to take on the Sierra Timberwolves Tuesday.

Oakdale 67, Lathrop 38

OAKDALE -- The Spartans battled for the first two periods, walking into halftime with a one-point deficit, but a dominating third period push Oakdale into control of its 67-38 win over Lathrop Saturday.

Umar Murrisett led the Spartans with 17, while Aivery Lewis and Eric Davis both chipped in with 10 and six, respectively.

Lathrop (0-9, 0-19) will try and snatch its first victory when they take on the Sierra Timberwolves Wednesday at Sierra.

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