Lathrop bounced back in a big way Saturday night.
The Spartans (4-3 Valley Oak League, 11-8 overall) fell apart against Sierra in the second half last Thursday, but that didn’t stop them from handing Manteca a 58-40 loss at home two nights later.
“I’ve been waiting for a game like this,” Lathrop head coach Nate McGrath said. “It’s the first time I can say that we played four quarters of good basketball. It was probably our best defensive performance of the season.”
Lathrop was led by Nicholas Obazuaye’s 15 points and 10 rebounds. Nilo Yuson finished with 14 to go with nine assists as he helped the Spartans get back on track against the skidding Buffaloes (3-4, 11-9), who started league 3-1.
Isaiah Ellis scored 11 for Lathrop and TJ Conley netted eight and hauled in 10 boards.
Manteca, which will play against Sonora at Winter Gym on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m., was led by Mikey Hatfield’s 16 points.
“We’ve been stressing defense, and it showed up (Saturday) against Manteca,” McGrath concluded.
The Buffaloes trailed 12-10 after the first quarter but only scored three in the second. All of Manteca’s second-quarter points were from the free-throw line as they were blanked from the field.
The Spartans led 23-15 at the break and went up 40-26 heading into the fourth.
On Wednesday Lathrop will visit Weston Ranch (5-2, 9-10), who have won five in a row since starting 0-2 in VOL.
Sierra 71, Oakdale 53
The Timberwolves (7-0, 14-5) were led by juniors Joshua Patton (15 points) and Devin Nunez (14 points). Daniel Wyatt added 12 and Hunter Johnson and Jonnythan Munkholm both registered eight. Sierra, which plays against Kimball Wednesday and Weston Ranch Friday, started off slow but managed to take a 12-point lead into halftime. Austin Archuleta topped Oakdale (2-5, 3-13) with 17 points.
Kimball 79, East Union 71
Jake Danhoff (29 points) and Lucas Garcia (21 points) combined for 50, but that wasn’t enough to complete a comeback in front of the home crowd. Clay Cuneo added 11 for EU, which will travel to Oakdale on Wednesday. The Lancers were down 28 at one point as Kimball (4-3, 14-6) knocked down seven 3s in the first half. EU put up 32 points in the fourth quarter, respectively.
East Union 56, Kimball 54
The Lancers (5-2 VOL) trailed by 11 points in the third quarter before making a comeback. EU kept itself in a four-way, first-place tie with Kimball, Manteca and Sierra. Gyse Hulsebosch finished with 17 and Eric Flores added 10. Austin Miller had nine and Malik Thomas eight.
Manteca 57, Lathrop 54
Ryan Brock recorded 28 points for the Buffaloes, who led 26-18 at the half. Kameron Beamon added eight for Manteca (5-2, 7-12). Lathrop’s Roman Martinez had the team-high with 16 and Michael Mills with 14.
Sierra 55, Oakdale 18
Jamille Grady led the T’Wolves (5-2, 10-3) with 19 points. Sierra, which went on an 18-0 second-quarter run to lead 31-8 at the half, also received 17 from Noah Ault.