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Stagg steamrolls Spartans in opener

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Stagg steamrolls Spartans in opener

Darrick Spears (10) gets to the lane during second-half action of the Lathrop Spartans' contest against Stagg High Tuesday.


POSTED December 2, 2009 2:20 a.m.
LATHROP – When the Lathrop Spartans converted one of two pregame free throws from a Stagg High violation during warm-ups, the Spartans held a 1-0 lead. It would be the squad’s only lead of the night, as it dropped their season-opener 64-18 Tuesday.

The Spartans had their hands full early, going into halftime trailing 39-10. Lathrop was able to hold close after the first period of play, but a 25-3 second quarter Stagg run spelled the end for Lathrop in its home opener.

“The effort that we had out there tonight was great,” Lathrop head coach J.J. Ramirez said. “As long as they don’t stop and we’re able to keep some confidence and keep trying we’ll improve.

“A lot of them have never played, so we have to keep them positive and make sure they keep taking steps forward.”

The Delta Kings entered the contest on the heels of a Foundation Game defeat to Weston Ranch Monday, leaving the team plenty of things to work on in preparation for the opening stretch of the season.

“Right now it’s just about building and getting better,” Stagg head coach Tony Espinoza said. “We have only had two practices with everybody because I have eight of my 15 who are football players that just came out.

“This game is a positive step for us heading into the Stagg Tournament.”

J.D. Singh led Lathrop with seven points, including a 3-pointer in the first half. Avary Lewis chipped in with five points in the loss. Lathrop showed brief glimpses of what Ramirez is looking for out of his team, yet the Spartans have a steep hill to climb in their debut varsity season.

“We are just going to have to get better a being aware of what is going on,” Ramirez said. “Having a clue of what the defense is out there doing. We have to improve our overall basketball savy, but that is going to take time.

“We’re going to break through, it’s just going to take some time.”

Lathrop will be back on the hardwood today when they kick off first-round action of the Modesto City Tournament at Johansen High.

Lathrop 57, Stagg 56 (OT)
Stagg High jumped out to a double-digit first quarter lead, but it would not stand up as the Spartans outscored Stagg 10-9 in the bonus period for a home-opening victory.

Marcus Conley led all scorers with a 32-point performance. Lathrop will look to continue with its momentum as they open the Modesto City Tournament against Grace Davis today at Johansen High.
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