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Lathrop overcomes lackluster effort
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TRACY — Craig Ward is hoping for a better effort next Wednesday when his Lathrop boys basketball team rounds out the regular season against Sierra.
He said the Spartans lacked fire in their 56-44 win at Kimball on Friday.
“I expected us to play better,” Ward said. “We might have gotten complacent because we beat them so bad last time (72-48), but if we don’t play better against Sierra that could mess up our shot at the playoffs.”
Lathrop stretched a 30-26 lead with a 15-8 third-quarter spurt. Junior Ballard led the way with 25 points. Roman Martinez added eight. Matthew Oli tallied 12 points to pace Kimball (2-11 Valley Oak League, 6-20 overall).
“It was their senior night, so they just played a lot harder than our guys did,” Ward said.”
Lathrop (7-6, 15-11) remains a game back of Weston Ranch for the third and final automatic playoff berth in the VOL. Even if they fall short of a top-three spot, the Spartans could still advance with a top-12 spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III MaxPreps rankings. They are currently No. 8.
“We just have to control what we can control,” Ward said.

Sophomore
Lathrop 56, Kimball 53
TRACY — Walton Whaley helped the Spartans (8-5) ward off a late Kimball rally, finishing with 15 points, four assists and three steals. Paul Kiggins contributed with 14 points, and Isaiah Victor had 13.
Lathrop led 36-25 at halftime.