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Another last-second loss for Lathrop

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Another last-second loss for Lathrop

Weston Ranch’s Aljanea Brown (21) leads a fast break in the second half during Wednesday’s varsity game at Lathrop.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED January 9, 2013 11:59 p.m.

LATHROP – Ed Fang’s heart aches for his locker room.

The Lathrop girls basketball team is still winless in Valley Oak League play, but only by the slimmest of margins.

And that’s why it hurts so bad.

The Spartans lost their third straight conference game by two points on Wednesday evening, this one an agonizing 66-64 loss to Weston Ranch. The Cougars erased a three-point deficit with about a minute to go, leaving Lathrop (0-3, 5-10) feeling gut-punched.

Yet again.

“Story of our lives right now,” Fang said. “It’s killing us. Every game we’ve played in league has ended like this. We lost to Manteca by two in the last three seconds. Sonora by two in the last 10 seconds.”

And now this

Lathrop had victory in its palms, leading by three in the final minute, but Weston Ranch (1-2) converted back-to-back baskets to take a 66-64 lead with 15 seconds remaining.

Fang immediately called timeout, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.

Lathrop worked the ball inside to forwards Loreal Taylor and Taylor Conley, both of whom had point-blank, beneath-the-bucket shots.

But each one rimmed out.

Victory, Weston Ranch.

Long faces for Lathrop.

Taylor finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for Lathrop, which wiped out a seven-point Weston Ranch lead in the fourth quarter. Janet Visaya led all scorers with 20 points, including two 3-pointers.

Weston Ranch won with a balanced attack. Four players scored in double figures: Aljanae Brown had 19, Elisabeth Alexander 15, Emoni Wilson 12 and Brianna White 11 for the Cougars, now 7-6 on the season.

“We played them tough tonight,” Fang said. “It was neck and neck the whole way.”

Lathrop didn’t do itself any favors, though. The Spartans turned the ball over 20 times and shot just 11 of 23 from the free-throw line.

“You can’t win when you’re throwing the ball away that much,” Fang said.

Manteca 54, Sonora 36

SONORA – A strong push in the third quarter kept the Buffaloes tied atop the VOL standings with Kimball.

Manteca (3-0, 9-5) outscored the Wildcats 23-7 in the third quarter. Courtney Range led all scorers with 21 points and Mikayla Hasal had 14 for the Buffs, who led by just one (20-19) at the intermission.

“I’m really proud of how they turned on the pressure defensively in the second half,” Manteca coach Cody Norman said. “It makes all the difference, and in league you can’t let teams hang around.”

East Union 46, Oakdale 28

East Union frustrated Oakdale with a variety of defenses early and picked up its first VOL win in style – with a blowout. The Lancers led 15-4 after the first quarter and never looked back.

“We jumped them early,” East Union assistant coach Rick Marsh said.

Freshman Olivia Vezaldenos finished 20 points, six rebounds and two assists, while older sister Victoria had eight. Ten different players scored for East Union (1-1, 3-7).


Weston Ranch 57, Sierra 15

WESTON RANCH – Pat King wasn’t impressed no matter how lopsided the victory over Sierra on Wednesday appeared. His Weston Ranch wrestling team hadn’t been on a mat in more than two weeks and it showed.

“We had some serious Christmas rust on us,” King said. “We haven’t been on the mat since Dec. 21. (The win) was rusty, but to be able to compete in VOL we have to get a whole lot better.”

The Cougars’ less-than-best was still enough to overwhelm Sierra. Eddie Murillo, Candy Elizondo, Joseph Gomez, Uriel Saldivar, Brandon Mungarro, Alberto Loaiza and Gerardo Gonzalez also won via pin for Weston Ranch (1-0, 12-6).

Kody Justice had the Timberwolves’ lone contested victory, squeaking out a 7-6 decision in the 182-pound weight class.

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