STOCKTON — Weston Ranch’s Rauline Martinez hit a 3-pointer to start the game Wednesday against visiting Lathrop, and the Cougars never looked back in a 69-37 Valley Oak League win.
“We drove to the lane and A.J. (Brown) made a great pass on that first basket,” Martinez said. “And from there we just picked up the intensity and we played intense the whole time.”
The Cougars (3-0 VOL, 10-4 overall) closed out the first quarter on a 6-2 run and hammered Lathrop (0-3, 4-11) in the second period 24-3 for a 43-12 halftime lead. They are now alone in first place with Kimball losing to Sierra on Wednesday night.
“We were in control for the most part,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “(Loreal) Taylor came in and dropped 20 on us in the second half.
“She is an athletic player. We didn’t do a good job of defending her or stopping her. We will have to do better on her next time.”
Taylor led all scorers with 20 points, scoring 16 in the fourth quarter for all of her team’s points in the final period. She also led the Spartans with five rebounds.
“It’s hard to go when you are missing a couple of key players,” Lathrop coach Ed Fang said. “But the other girls picked it up tonight and did the best job that they could.”
Four Cougars reached double figures – Martinez and Victoria Gulley with 14 points apiece, Brown with 12 and Elizabeth Alexander with 10. Brown had five assists and Alexander four rebounds.
Alayah Thomas (nine points) had three 3-pointers for Weston Ranch and Martinez two.
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The Spartans managed just two first-quarter points and never recovered.
Jennifer Viguerias of the Cougars led all scorers with 17 points and teammate Elysie Hernandez added 11. Cierra Jones had nine points for Lathrop.
Hernandez had six rebounds and Sabrina Martinez five for the Spartans. Lathrop’s Aniya Adams made six steals with Jyriaynna King and Sianne Singharath adding four apiece.
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The Spartans outscored the Cougars 11-4 in the third quarter and that was the difference in the game.
Lathrop’s Danya Phillips and Weston Ranch’s Jaylene Tauga shared high-point honors with 10 points apiece.