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Defense lifts LHS in season opener
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LATHROP — Lathrop High’s girls basketball team has high hopes for the 2016-17 season.
The Spartans are off to a good start after locking down Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove in a 42-34 win Tuesday. Cosumnes Oaks (2-2) was a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I postseason qualifier a year ago.
“We’re just so much more mature as a team now,” Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis said. He led the Spartans to their first playoff appearance last year with only two seniors on the team.
Danya Phillips was stellar all-around, spearheading Lathrop with 14 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and three steals. She was the only player in double figures. Myani Thornton contributed eight points and five steals, while Mary Cotton pulled down 11 boards to go with her six points. Abreanna Lake scored nine points to lead the Wolf Pack.
With Lathrop playing steady defense throughout, it was free-throw shooting — previously an Achilles heel for the team — that got it over the hump. Thornton made 5 of 6 attempts in the fourth quarter, and the team shot 15 of 23 overall.
“Getting to the free-throw line was never an issue for us,” Davis said. “Tonight, we went to the free-throw line, hit the shots and closed it out. Defensively, we rebounded well and did not give them second-chance looks. Everything they got they had to work for.”
East Union 59,
Grace Davis 45
Starting strong was the emphasis for the 4-0 Lancers, and they achieved that as they raced to a commanding 33-22 halftime lead at Dalben Center.
Donja Payne amassed 19 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Ruby Daube chimed in with 18 points and five assists. Ten different Lancers scored in the blowout. Lea Anderson and Bailee Haueter scored 17 and 16 for Davis (1-1), respectively.
“We wanted to make sure we got off to a good start because we’ve been starting slow lately, and the girls did a good job with that,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “We had nice, steady play throughout the night.”

Bret Harte 39,
Ripon Christian 36 (OT)
ANGELS CAMP — A third-quarter lull ended up being the difference for the Knights (1-3), who were outscored 15-3 and trailed 31-22 going into the fourth.
Bret Harte (1-3) secured its first win in overtime with a 4-1 advantage in the extra period.
Kelly Engel led Ripon Christian with 11 points and five assists, while Molly Hoeksema added eight points and six rebounds.

Monterey Trail 62,
Weston Ranch 46
STOCKTON — The Mustangs (3-0) of Elk Grove led 24-21 at halftime before busting it open in the second half.
Weston Ranch (1-2) struggled with turnovers (19) and free-throw shooting (10 of 20) throughout. Asia Stamps paced the Cougars with 14 points, and Justice Stitt turned in 12. Nancy Duong scored 11 to lead Monterey Trail.

Ripon Christian 33,
Bret Harte 24
ANGELS CAMP — Ariel Vander Woude’s double-double — 10 points, 15 rebounds — lifted the Knights to victory.
Sarah Brown also scored 10 points while collecting three steals. Alexis Hilvers grabbed 12 rebounds.

Weston Ranch 42,
Monterey Trail 18
STOCKTON — The Cougars held Monterey Trail to single-digit scoring in every quarter to coast to an easy win.
Jazlyn White and Darnaysha Huff (six rebounds) fired 10 points apiece to lead the way. Jennalyn Laminero contributed with nine points and four assists.