LATHROP — The Lathrop Spartans took what the Weston Ranch High defense gave them.
In Thursday’s Valley Oak League clash, they shot over the Cougars’ zone, hitting nine 3s en route to a 65-38 victory.
“In our first game, they killed us inside,” said Weston Ranch coach Darrell Johnson on his defensive strategy.
Lathrop (5-3 VOL, 12-8) got big performances from sophomore standout Mary Cotton and senior guard Gurveen Bal.
Cotton had a game-high 21 points, 18 rebounds, five blocks and three steals.
“Mary had a monster game,” Spartans coach Dwayne Davis said.
Bal chipped in with 19 points, five boards and three steals.
Cotton jumped started Lathrop’s offense, nailing a trey in what was a sign of things to come.
Before that, the Cougars’ Asia Stamps kicked off the game with a drive to the hoop followed by a pair of free throws.
Myani Thornton and Bal followed suit, with hitting 3s to put the Spartans ahead, 13-9.
Cotton finished the half with a double-double, tallying 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Lathrop led at that point, 31-14.
Weston Ranch (2-5 VOL, 8-11 overall) had too much ground to cover.
“We went back to man to man (defense). But Lathrop was able to extend the lead by 17,” Johnson said.
Another reason for that was the Spartans’ press defense, resulting in several turnovers.
Lathrop also utilized its depth, with Shaianne Brito, Kaiya Thornton, and Julianne Denning, to name a few, making contributions off the bench.
With just 10 players on their roster, the Cougars didn’t have that luxury.
Stamps led Weston Ranch with 14 points, eight rebounds and a block.
Justice Stitt added 10 points while Vanessa Vega had seven boards, four points, a block and a steal.
Lathrop built up a 20-point cushion after three quarters, 47-27.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.