Lathrop High came into East Union’s Dalben Center Thursday with a game plan: play smart and aggressive defense.
The result of that was a 55-35 Valley Oak League victory.
“They outplayed us tonight,” said Lancers coach Jim Agostini.
His defending champions are in a downward spiral with this latest loss, their fifth straight in league. By contrast, the Spartans (6-4 VOL, 13-9) appear to be hitting their stride.
They were dialed in from beyond the arc, hitting eight 3s including four during a key stretch in the third quarter.
“We worked all week on staying down on defense,” said Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis.
He had his team press East Union (4-6 VOL, 15-8), utilizing the quickness of Danya Phillips, Kaiya Thornton, Myani Thornton, and Mary Cotton.
Cotton was once again dynamic on both ends of the court, coming away with five steals and four blocks.
She also helped in directing the offense when she wasn’t mixing it up inside against Donja Payne.
“We weren’t going to let (East Union) beat us on the boards,” said Davis.
Payne collected 14 rebounds to go along with her nine points. Ruby Daube finished with a team-high 15.
The night belonged to the Spartans.
Gurveen Bal led the way with 17, hitting three 3s in the first quarter to help Lathrop with the early lead.
“We weathered that storm by coming back (in the second quarter),” Agostini said.
East Union, trailing 22-17 at the break, wasn’t as fortunate in the second half.
Lathrop cashed in on turnovers by going on a 19-3 run. Semajynique Steen, who was playing third game back following a knee injury, hit a pair of 3s along with Bal.
Phillips found success driving the lane while Cotton delivered the dagger by canning a 3.
She finished with eight points and 10 boards.
“You got to tip your hat to Lathrop for playing a great game,” said Agostini.
East Union 52, Lathrop 40
Sarah Gloeckler poured in 17 points, Nina Murphy added 13 and Julia Vezaldenos ended with eight for the victorious and still-undefeated Lancers.