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Lathrop gets better of former teammates
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For both programs the contest was a little more than a loser’s bracket game in the 2012 Tracy/West Winter Holiday Classic. Excel Academy is in its first year establishing itself as a high school program and a great portion of its foundation came off the Lathrop High campus.

That fact definitely played a part in Lathrop’s 74-49 win over the Pumas Tuesday in the Holiday Classic. Lathrop got a strong effort from senior T.J. Conley, who led the Spartans with 17 points and eight rebounds. Conley led a five-player Lathrop group that all finished in double figures.

“Our effort has not been there for four quarters at any time this year,” Lathrop head coach Bill Slikker said. “If we can’t get up for “Lathrop North” then we can’t get up for anybody.

“And today, we got up to play today and T.J. set the tone.”

Robert Orantes had 14, Isaiah Ellis had 13 and both Mikey Pereznegron and Robert Heggie finished with 10.

Nick Obazuawe led Excel with a game-high 18 points.

Lathrop (4-6) will be back on the court at 7:30 p.m. at Tracy High against Downey.

Manteca 62, Central Valley 42

The Buffaloes bounced back from a Winter Holiday Classic opening-round loss with a 20-point blowout of the Central Valley Hawks Tuesday.

Manteca trailed after one period, but got things figured out and outscored the Hawks in each of the final three periods. The Buffaloes were able to hold Central Valley to single digits in those three quarters.

Austin Haro led all scorers with 17, while Brandon Dabney and Miguel Lopez both finished in double-figures with 12 and 11, respectively.

Manteca put the game away with a 21-point fourth quarter.


Lodi 58, Sierra 55 OT

The Timberwolves put themselves in the right position, but blown free throws and untimely turnovers cost Sierra down the stretch in a 58-55 overtime loss to the host Lodi Flames Tuesday.

Sierra held an eight-point lead halfway through the final period, but crumbled in the final moments to allow Lodi a chance to send it to overtime.

“We couldn’t make free throws,” Sierra head coach Scott Thomason said. “And we turned the ball over at the end of the game and Lodi made some big plays.”

Guillermo Nunez led the Timberwolves with 20 points, while teammates Emmanuel Elijah (14 points) and Eric Melgar (13 points) both finished in double figures.

The Timberwolves (5-3) will be back on the hardwood Friday when they play host to the Golden Valley Eagles at 7 p.m.


Sierra 49, Lodi 44

The Timberwolves were able to fend off the host Flames in a five-point nonleague win Tuesday.

Sierra trailed by seven at the half and turned the contest around. Sierra sealed the deal on the win, holding

Lodi to just two points in the pivotal final period.

Daniel Wyatt led the squad with a game-high 16 points, and Brian Terrell chipped in with 11.