A strong third-period rally helped propel the Lathrop High boys varsity basketball team past Liberty Ranch on Tuesday.
The Spartans claimed the non-league game played in Galt, 61-51.
“We played much better in the second half,” said Lathrop coach Bill Slikker, whose team trailed 33-24 at the intermission.
He noted that his team was flustered by Liberty Ranch’s zone defense in the first half.
“We hadn’t faced zone in five games,” Slikker said. “We weren’t prepared (to handle it).”
The Spartans (3-3) didn’t make the necessary adjustments and came out strong in the second half, outscoring the Hawks, 20-3, in that third period.
Joseph Sausau led Lathrop with 16 points. He also grabbed seven boards.
Ricky Chavez chipped in with 14 points, while 5-foot-8 junior point guard Robert Orantes enjoyed an all-around effort with nine points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
Lathrop will take on Johansen in the opening round of the Tracy/West Winter Holiday Basketball Classic on Monday.
East Union 70, Valley 61
The Lancers came away with an impressive non-league victory in Sacramento.
Against the Vikings of the Metro League – they were fresh off winning the Atwater tournament crown – East Union (3-3) took control, claiming a 17-point advantage at one point.
Valley (6-2) rallied back, pulling to within six points in the second half.
“We were playing a good team with some real good shooters,” said Lancers coach Brett Lewis.
He was especially proud of his team’s effort.
Brandon Clines, for example, took a charge down the stretch while delivering some clutch free throws.
He was 8 of 10 from the line, finishing with 21 points.
In addition, Justin Nieto netted 15, sophomore Jake Danhoff had 10, and Alex Del Real finished with nine.
East Union led 34-21 at the intermission.
“We managed to get Valley’s big guy in foul trouble,” Lewis said.
Lathrop 51, Liberty Ranch 46
Milo Yuson scored 24 points and was 13 of 13 from the free throw line as Lathrop avenged an earlier loss to Liberty Ranch.
The Spartans (4-2) fell to the Hawks in the consolation game of the recent Lathrop tournament.
Lathrop led by as much as 12 points, with T.J. Conley chipping in with nine points.
The Spartans will travel to Central Valley next Tuesday.
Valley 55, East Union 53, OT
Down 46-43 in the waning seconds of regulation, the Hawks hit an off-balanced 3-point shot to send the non-league game into the overtime.
The Lancers (3-2) held a five-point lead in the fourth period.
Clay Cuneo was East Union’s top scorer with 19 points. Joe Menzel added 13.