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Defense leads Lathrop girls basketball
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LATHROP — After allowing its previous opponent to shoot 33 free throws in a loss, Lathrop’s girls basketball team made it a point to scale back on the aggression against Oakdale on Wednesday.

The Spartans succeeded and drudged their way to a 36-27 Valley Oak League victory over the dangerous Mustangs.

Lathrop (3-2, 10-7 overall) exploded at the outset thanks to its press defense, forcing 12 turnovers while opening it up a 19-8 lead. The Spartans were held to single-digit scoring over the next three quarters, including just two in the second, but was never in danger of giving up the lead.

“We kind of changed up (the defense) to confuse them and keep them on their toes,” Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis said. “In the second quarter we dropped back in a zone, slowed the pace and allowed them to run the shot clock down. We were more deliberate. We wanted to be more disciplined in running our stuff, and I had the opportunity to play a lot of kids off the bench.”

The reserves saw plenty of action out of necessity during last Friday’s 55-47 loss to East Union with their top players getting into early foul trouble. On Wednesday, Lathrop committed just four fouls.

“We toned down the aggressiveness,” Davis said. “We wanted to make them try to score from the floor, and I think that was the big difference from this game to the last game.”

Mary Cotton led the charge with nine points, 13 rebounds and four steals. Danya Phillips pitched in eight points, seven steals and six boards. Gurveen Bal had seven points and four steals, while Myani Thornton finished with six points, five rebounds and five steals.

Zoe Gillen scored 12 points for Oakdale (1-4, 11-7).



In a double dual at Oakdale on Wednesday Lathrop defeated Manteca 42-31 and then lost to powerhouse Oakdale 64-0 in Valley Oak League action.

In the dual between Manteca Unified rivals, Lathrop got its points from Keonnee Linnell (145, pin), Jonathan Hernandez (152, pin), Josiah Acosta (160, decision), Octavio Ruelas (170, decision), Isaac Blase (195, pin) and Mario Rogosa (220, pin). Manteca winners were Dominic Day (126, major decision), Michael Blades (132), Austin Arroyo (138, pin) and Josh Craighead (182).

At Kimball in Tracy, East Union picked a pair of VOL wins, downing Central Catholic 57-15 and Kimball 72-6. Sierra hosted Weston Ranch and won, 51-24. Additional information from both matches was not available as of press time.