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BOYS HOOPS: Lathrop beats LB, Stays atop WAC; Sierra puts scare into 1st-place CC
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Lathrop High did its part Wednesday to stay atop of the Western Athletic Conference.
The Spartans, who opened the evening in a three-way tie for first place, took care of visiting Los Banos, 75-59.
"It took awhile to warm up," said coach Craig Ward, referring to his team flipping an 18-16 deficit into a 13-point halftime cushion.
Lathrop (6-1 WAC, 14-5) did so by playing tenacious defense coupled with some balanced scoring.
Eddie Cotton, a 6-foot-6 junior forward/center, led the way, scoring 12 of his game-high 19 points in the first half. He also had a big rebounding game, according to Ward.
"It's always important for us to get that rebounding edge," he added.
CJ Ward chipped in with 10 of his 12 points in the first half.
The Spartans were helped out by balanced scoring.
Daniel Whaley added 17 points while Walton Whaley sizzled from the outside, burying four 3s and finishing with 15 points.
"We did a good job of sharing the ball," coach Ward said. "It feels good when everyone is contributing." 
Los Banos (3-4 , 11-10) was led by Howard Leus, who netted 17 points including four treys.
Hans Emerson and Da Mari Tate contributed with 14 and 12, respectively.
Lathrop opened play tied with Beyer and Mountain House for first place in the WAC.
Beyer also win, defeating Pacheco, 66-42. Mountain House played Ceres.
The Spartans will take on Ceres on Friday and Pacheco early next week.

Central Catholic 62, Sierra 52
The Timberwolves kept it close against the top team in the Valley Oak League.
In the end, they were unable to stage the upset over the visiting Raiders.
"We were down by two points going into the fourth quarter," said Sierra coach Eddie Morales.
His team outscored Central Catholic in the second quarter, 20-10, going ahead 33-28 at the half after trailing 18-13 at the end of the opening quarter.
The Timberwolves (2-4 VOL, 11-9) lost their lead in the third and trailed 43-41 going into the fourth.
"They hit their free throws along with some tough shots," Morales said of the Raiders (6-0, 15-7).
Kendrick Currey, Sierra's 6-2 senior guard, led all scorers with 20 points. Zachariah Curry and Jesse Ortiz-Martinez contribued with nine and eight points, respectively.
Arvind Sandhu of Central Catholic had 19 points while Dayton Magana finished with 17.
"It was a tough game," Morales said. "But against a good team, you have to play (consistently) all four quarters."