Mary Cotton’s across-the-board production isn’t what’s most impressive — it is what was expected out of the versatile rising college prospect out of Lathrop High.
That she was able to average a double-double playing unselfishly and in limited minutes during the Spartans’ many blowouts victories this past season sure stood out to opposing coaches who voted the 6-foot-1 guard as co-MVP in the Western Athletic Conference.
Cotton is joined by two fellow Spartans on the All-WAC team. Lathrop’s boys team had two make all-conference.
“She averaged what she averaged playing half the game,” Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis said. He was named the WAC Coach of the Year.
Thirteen of Lathrop’s league games were decided by at least 20 points — most by 30-plus. The Spartans (13-1, 22-7 overall) did have one hiccup, a 49-45 loss at Beyer, but it was avenged in an extra game that determined which of the two co-champions would get the higher seed for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
It was all Lathrop in the rubber match, 73-35. Cotton contributed 16 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four blocks while spending much of the second half on the bench. For the season, she accumulated 16.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.7 steals, 3.2 blocks and 2.2 assists per game.
Alicia Jones, Beyer’s standout guard, shares MVP recognition with Cotton.
“She plays all ends of the floor,” Davis said of Cotton. “I know I can place her anywhere on the court because she can play all five positions at a high level. The big thing about her is she understands the game and knows where to be.
“More than anything she’s the most unselfish player that I’ve ever coached, and I wanted her to be more selfish. She never did that. If somebody else was open she’d pass the ball.”
Lathrop has won co-titles in back-to-back seasons, doing so in the Valley Oak League last year. Ayon Carter and Khiya Thornton were other major contributors to the team, and they made the All-WAC first team.
The energetic Carter averaged 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.7 steals. Thornton, a junior who figures to take on a larger role in 2019-2020, turned in 9.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 steals. Senior guard Kaysey Matela earned honorable mention.
Noah Urbina-Thierry was selected to the All-WAC boys first team. The senior guard averaged 11.1 points. Amiel Adams, also a senior guard, earned a spot on the second team, while sophomore center Eddie Cotton made honorable mention.
Lathrop finished in third place for an automatic berth to the playoffs, finishing 9-5 and 17-10 overall. Exciting 6-4, 215-pound forward Keenami Maggard is the boys MVP after leading Mountain House (14-0, 21-7) to the outright title.