STOCKTON — After three ties in the game’s first 20 points, Lathrop started a 24-0 run midway through the first quarter that ran into the second as the Spartans ran away with a 74-45 Valley Oak League girls basketball win over host Weston Ranch.
“Sometimes we get a little too excited,” Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis said. “We might think we can jump out and we come out and take ill-advised shots, not moving the ball around like we should.
“Then we started moving the ball, a couple of our shots dropped, and we got a little more active defensively and we settled down.”
The Cougars (1-7 VOL, 5-16 overall) battled early, leading 7-3 and then 10-9 with Weston Ranch’s Nia Boston getting five of her game-high 23 points in the first quarter. The Spartans (8-0, 15-4) then took advantage of the physical nature of the game to jump start their run, going 8 of 12 from the free-throw line in the first quarter.
“We took off at the beginning of the first half,” Weston Ranch coach Darrell Johnson said. “We were playing mano y mano just like we did the first game, but then we got in foul trouble and sent them to the line.
“Next thing they were ahead by 19 and we completely lost it from there. Our game plan was to stay in front of Mary Cotton to force them to take jump shots and this game they made those shots.”
Cotton continues to tear up the opposition since her return to the roster last week, tallying 20 points and 10 rebounds in less than three quarters of play.
“We just didn’t want to let up,” Cotton said. “Our coach said not to let up and we didn’t and it kept going on from there.”
Myani Thornton added15 points and five rebounds for Lathrop and Khiya Thornton chipped in 13 points.
“Having some rest after the Kimball game we were ready to come and play,” Khiya Thornton said. “We decided to play and we were able to get a big enough lead so our bench players would get a chance to play.
“This way if we have to sub during a close game coach knows what everyone can do.”
The Spartans dominated the boards 47-32 and although they called off the press by halftime they still forced 19 turnovers.
Weston Ranch 46,
The Cougars’ Kyshanti King led all scorers with 17 points.
Daria Perkins added nine points for Weston Ranch and Jasmine Denning led the Spartans with seven points.
Weston Ranch 34,
Kyaria Thompson and Elizah Williams paced the Cougars with eight points apiece.
Crispa Ballesteros had seven points for the Spartans.