For the first time in school history the Lathrop High boys basketball team is heading to the postseason ,and the squad is not backing into its first playoff matchup after handling Kimball in 68-54 Valley Oak League Friday.
The Spartans (7-7, 14-12 overall) had four players in double figures, seizing the moment to solidify their postseason seeding. Back-to-back losses to close out the season would have definitely plagued the Spartans, but their strong finish has given them reason to believe.
“To be honest, my expectations are always high,” Lathrop head coach Bill Slikker said. “So yes, I expected us to get into the postseason. Our kids have played hard. We knew if we lost that game we would be dropping; the kids knew that if we’d lost that game we would have had a losing season.
“The kids know that and they responded.”
Ricky Chavez led Lathrop with 18 and teammate Marcus Conley added 17. Both Joseph Sausau and Robert Orantes each added 11.
Kimball 64, Lathrop 37
The season didn’t necessarily end on the right note for the Spartans.
Jazlyn Simon went out with a bang in the finale, scoring 21 points and connecting on three 3-pointers.
Lorreal Taylor was behind Simon with seven.
“We just did not play well tonight,” Lathrop head coach Ed Fang said. “We started off pretty well in the first quarter, but we just went flat after that.”
Lathrop jumped out to the early 16-11 first quarter lead, but was outscored by Kimball in each of the final three.
Lathrop 50, Kimball 36
The Spartans (7-7) were able to finish off a .500 VOL season with a 14-point win over Kimball High Friday.
Taylor Conley led all scorers with 19 points, while Akelah Lesley would add 13.
Lathrop 52, Kimball 28
Lathrop (8-6) was able to open the triple-header with a convincing win over Kimball High Friday.
Perla Vargas led the team with 16, while Lauren Collins added 13. Lathrop opened on a 16-1 run and never looked back.