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Simon’s 21 points propel Lathrop past Sierra

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Simon’s 21 points propel Lathrop past Sierra

Jazlyn Simon drives the lane to lead Lathrop past Sierra on Thursday.

CHRIS LEONARD / www.leonardphoto.com/


POSTED February 10, 2012 1:23 a.m.

The Lathrop High girls varsity basketball squad notched its biggest win of the season.

“This was a huge game for our program,” said Spartans coach Ed Fang following Thursday’s 50-41 Valley Oak League victory at Sierra High. “We did it against a well-established team.”

Keying the attack was Lathrop junior guard Jazlyn Simon, who tallied a game-high 21 points with eight rebounds and three steals. But it was her free throws down the stretch that helped seal the deal.

“Jazlyn hit free throws when it was most needed,” Fang said.

The Timberwolves (2-7, 4-17) staggered from the start, falling behind 22-6 after the first quarter.

They then went on a 10-0 run behind the offensive efforts of Valerie Nestor and Asia Cortez, who connected on a 3.

But the Spartans (2-10, 4-18) still maintained a 25-16 advantage at the half thanks to free throws by Simon and Marissa Elliott.

“Defensively, we picked it up (after the first quarter),” said Sierra coach Steve Unterholzner, who was able to battle back with the inside play of Nestor, Shelby Shirron, and Lia Unterholzner.

The third quarter was a see-saw battle, with Simon and Loreal Taylor taking charge for Lathrop and Nestor, Cortez and Unterholzner doing likewise for the Timberwolves.

Sierra put together one last run in the fourth. Nestor scored on a put-back and Shirron had a steal and triggered the fast-break pass to Celine Barber on the same play, cutting the Spartans’ lead, 40-37.

After Simon and Cortez traded baskets, Kelly Paredes hit a free throw to pull Sierra to within two points at the 1:05 mark of the fourth.

But Lathrop put the game away on Kristen Rallios’ basket coupled with Simon hitting 3 of her 4 free throws in the closing minute.

By then, Sierra was without its inside players – Unterholzner, Nestor and Shirron fouled out – while the Spartans had to make do without Taylor, who had six points and six boards before drawing her fifth foul.

“No doubt, losing (Lia, Valerie, and Shelby) hurt us,” coach Unterholzner said. “There wasn’t a lot we could inside.

“We finished the game playing with five guards.”

Barber led the Timberwolves with 10 points, two steals and a block. Nestor came through with nine points and 12 boards; Unterholzner tallied nine points and six rebounds; and Shirron finished with five points, three boards and two steals.

Janet Visaya also contributed to the Spartans’ victory with her eight points, seven rebounds and two steals.

“Give credit to Lathrop. They came in here and played a good game,” Unterholzner said.

Sophomore

Lathrop 47, Sierra 28

Taylor Conley had 17 points and Akilah Lesley added 14 to pace the Spartans over the host Timberwolves.

Lathrop (6-6, 14-7) was also helped by Jenessa Alejandro’s 12 points.

Freshman

Sierra 40, Lathrop 39

Keanna Barber registered 16 points, five rebounds and three steals as Sierra (5-7, 11-10) edged visiting Lathrop. Marissa La Quaglia added 10 points, six steals and five boards.

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