Lathrop turned up the defensive pressure and made clutch free throws down the stretch on Thursday to surge past visiting Mountain House, 44-35.
The needed win comes on the heels of its first Western Athletic Conference defeat of the season. The Spartans (5-1, 8-10 overall) will next head to Los Banos on Tuesday to face the conference’s top team.
Tied going into the fourth period, Lathrop outscored Mountain House (3-3, 5-11) 17-8 in the fourth quarter while sinking 11 of 15 free throws.
“We saw they were playing heavily on the right side, so we adjusted and took away everything they wanted to do,” Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis said. “Defensively, we played a great fourth quarter and made them foul us. We were able to push the ball without turnovers and went to the free-throw line.”
Kierstin Constantino spearheaded Lathrop with 18 points, while Lyric Moore did most of the damage for the Mustangs with 21 points. Spartans Isa Paniagua and Jasmine Denning contributed 10 and nine points, respectively.
Ripon 64, Escalon 23
ESCALON —The Indians (4-0, 13-6 overall) travel to Hughson next Tuesday for a first-place battle in the Trans-Valley League.
Reina Sausedo nearly had a triple-double despite limited action in Thursday’s rivalry romp, finishing with 19 points, eight steals, seven turnovers and four assists. Myra Toledo contributed 15 points, while Mikaylah Vaught and Mackenzie Hutchinson scored eight apiece.
Escalon (1-2, 7-11) was held to single digits in every quarter and trailed 36-11 at halftime.
“It was a good team win,” Ripon coach Rick Inderbitzin said. “Our reserves did a good job in the second half, extending the lead and playing good team defense.
Lathrop 31, Mtn. House 14
Egypt Jenkins led the one-sided win with nine points and was followed by Jayna Dizon’s eight points and Lyllianna Avila’s six.
Lathrop 42, Mtn. House 31
Taimane Lowery fired a team-high 12 points. Janida Garcia and Renaissance Thierry had nine and seven, respectively.