The Lathrop boys basketball team had a chance to clinch a playoff berth Friday night but came up short thanks to a last-second tip-in by host Kimball, which claimed a 69-67 Valley Oak League win with one game remaining in regular-season play.
“Any time you put up 67 points you should win,” Spartans coach Nate McGrath said. “But we got away from our strengths of getting rebounds that lead into fast breaks for us.”
The loss negated a stellar performance by T.J. Conley. The 6-foot-3 senior dominated in the paint for Lathrop (8-5 VOL, 15-10 overall), getting the only double-double on the night with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Nilo Yuson paced the Spartans with 17 points followed by Isaiah Ellis with 16 and Nicholaus Obazuaye with 14.
J.D. Schmidt – who got the last-second tip-in for Kimball (6-7, 16-10) – earned high-point honors with 18.
A win by Lathrop on Friday would have secured a playoff slot for the Spartans. Lathrop enters the last day of league play Tuesday clinging to a one-game lead over Weston Ranch. If the two teams finish in a tie, the Cougars own the tie-breaker. The Spartans finish up with league-champion Sierra and Weston Ranch squares off with Kimball.
TRANS VALLEY LEAGUE
Ripon 65, Hilmar 43
Freshman Cole Stevens ruined the Yellowjackets’ senior night by dropping 28, points including five treys. Ripon (5-6 TVL, 7-18 overall) also received 10 from senior Chase DePrue and nine from Derek Hickman. Michael Morris added nine (three 3s) as Ripon raced out to a 34-20 lead at the half. Hilmar fell to 1-11, 7-20 overall. Ripon will host Ripon Christian tonight at 6 p.m. and will conclude league on Tuesday against Orestimba.
Ripon Chr. 53, Delhi 28
Austin Alger (13) and Jake Schollenberg (12) combined for 25 as the Knights improved to 11-2 in the SL, 19-5 overall. Ripon Christian went into the half on top 27-18 and played even sharper in the second half. Eric Broker finished with eight and Sean Broker nine. In the second half, RC held the Hawks scoreless until midway through the fourth quarter, which included a 22-0 run in the third frame.
Kimball 49, Lathrop 31
Amritpal Singh tallied eight points, nine rebounds and three assists in a losing effort. Ariz Bringas tallied seven points to go with three assists.
Ripon Chr. 58, Delhi 10
The Knights led the Hawks 40-8 at the half and limited their opponent to no field goals. Jessica Orozco tallied 18 points (four 3s). Lauren De Vries scored 10, while Jessica Van Vliet and Julia Ray both chipped in with eight.
Ripon Chr. 48,
Big Valley Chr. 5
Beth Weststeyn had 12 points and eight rebounds and Abby Buitrago finished with 10 points, 10 assists and six steals for the Knights. Lyndsey Van Groningen had eight to go with 11 boards. Molly Hoeksema scored six and pulled in 12 boards and Carly Eastham finished with six points and seven boards. Becca Small also had six points.