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Weston Ranch dominates with inside play

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Weston Ranch dominates with inside play

Elisabeth Alexander had her way with the Lathrop Spartans, leading all scorers with 19 points Thursday in Weston Ranch’s win over Lathrop.

MICHAEL CHAVES/


POSTED January 25, 2013 12:51 a.m.

WESTON RANCH – With bounce in their step and smiles on their face, the Lathrop Spartans strolled to the sideline for a first quarter timeout. The Spartans had not only sustained, but had answered Weston Ranch’s 10-0 run to open the game with a 10-0 run of their own.

That mark would be the last time the two teams would be even as Weston Ranch took complete control of the its 64-45 Valley Oak League victory Thursday over the Spartans. Weston Ranch pounded the ball inside and pressured Lathrop the length of the court, stifling the majority of the Spartans attempts on the offensive end. Lathrop was held to just three field goals in the third.

“They’re very fast and they were getting the ball inside by beating us down the court,” Lathrop head coach Ed Fang said. “They were getting those easy layups; credit to them for being able to run the floor like that.”

With each forced turnover on defense, Weston Ranch (7-1 VOL, 12-6 overall) would have multiple options – Brianna White and Elisabeth Alexander – slicing into the paint for easy transition buckets. The pair, combined with Courtney Smith’s efforts (11 points) gave Weston Ranch an advantage Lathrop could not cope with.

“That has been a priority focus for us since Manteca (on a 56-48 loss on Jan 4) because we didn’t go to them as much,” Cougars head coach Chris Bauer said of his post players. “We relied on the jump shot, we relied on the dribble penetration, but we’ve made a big effort to go inside and tonight we did it.

“The guards know that the balls go inside, and if we can catch and turn we’re going to be able to do something with it.”

Point guard AJ Brown reaped the benefits of the play from her “bigs,” turning their relentless effort running the courts into uncontested layups. Both Alexander (19 points) and White (16 points) scored on consecutive possessions multiple times in the first three quarters.

“Their success inside is pretty much everything for us,” Brown said. “There are only bigs and because of their play we basically dominated inside. We had a high advantage so we just continued to feed the ball inside and it worked.”

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