Lathrop left little doubt in its 65-34 drubbing of visiting Oakdale on Wednesday night.
The Spartans (8-4 Valley Oak League, 15-9 overall) escaped Oakdale with a three-point win the last time the two squared off, and the Mustangs had since registered upset wins over Manteca and Weston Ranch — the two squads Lathrop is in contention with for the remaining two Sac-Joaquin Section playoff spots in the VOL.
Needing a win to keep its head-to-head tiebreaker over Manteca intact, Lathrop jumped all over the Mustangs (4-8, 7-16) and staked a 21-8 first-quarter lead. The gap was widened by halftime, 35-17.
Nicholaus Obazuaye led the charge with 17 points and six rebounds. T.J. Conley poured in 12 points, swiped eight steals and collected five rebounds. Nilo Yuson dished out nine assists to go with his 11 points.
Lathrop has a tough closing stretch to end the regular season with games at Kimball and against first-place Sierra looming.
Lathrop 51, Oakdale 16
Diego Chavez (14 points), Robert Luckett (11 points) and Mike Osorno (nine points) spearheaded the Spartans’ decisive rout.
Lathrop 53, Oakdale 44
Anthony Blase dominated in the low block, finishing with 10 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks for the Spartans (3-9 VOL). Parth Ghai was Lathrop’s scoring leader with 15 points.