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Second-half woes cost Spartans against Kimball

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Second-half woes cost Spartans against Kimball

Lathrop High’s Akila Lesley hustles for the loose ball with Kimball’s Sarah Nunes Friday in Valley Oak League action Friday at Lathrop High. The Spartans let one slip away in a 54-46 loss.


POSTED January 19, 2013 12:29 a.m.

LATHROP – After building a pseudo-comfortable nine point lead late in the first half, Lathrop High went into an offensive funk, adding just four points over the next 12 minutes to Kimball’s 19 in a 54-46 Valley Oak League loss Friday.

Lathrop did nearly everything right over the first two quarters, concocting a 31-20 lead behind a blistering-hot second quarter from senior Janet Visaya. Visaya opened the first two minutes of the second with three straight baskets and then followed a Jazlyn Simon layup with a 3-pointer and high-arching layup to give Lathrop its biggest lead of the game.

Kimball would slowly find its groove, chipping away at its deficit with a late barrage to end the half. The Jaguars posted eight unanswered points, to shave Lathrop’s lead to three. Lathrop’s effort, to open the third would leave the Spartans with an insurmountable deficit.

“The third quarter was it exactly,” Lathrop head coach Ed Fang said. “In that first half we were getting the shots we wanted and were able to run in the open court, but Kimball stepped up their defense.

“We started settling for shots that we really didn’t want to take.”

With the rejuvenated Kimball effort on the defensive end in the third Lathrop could not buy a basket. Kimball was anything but dominant during the stretch, scoring just 12 points, but that minimal success coupled with Lathrop’s complete inefficiency and the Jaguars had their first lead since 2-0.

Sarah Nunes was the difference in the second half for Kimball, scoring all of her 13 points over the final 16 minutes and supplementing the lack of production from go-to players Noni Kuumba (10 points) and Ayida Peters (3 points).

“She did an excellent job for us tonight,” Kimball head coach Miguel Granillo said. “She guarded (Loreal Taylor) and kept them from getting the penetration and kicks to her; she was excellent on defense.

“She came out to play and we were glad to see her play well.”

Simon and Visaya led the Spartans with 14 apiece, but both only collected three points in the pivotal second half. Where the Spartans reaped the success of the pair early on in transition and perimeter jumpers, late in the game Kimball’s adjustment won out.

“We wanted to keep the tempo up, but we also wanted to stay in control,” Fang said. “That is what happened in that third quarter, we just lost control for a span of three or four minutes and Kimball was able to regain control of the game.”


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