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Lathrop wins 1st-ever playoff game at home
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LATHROP — Lathrop made it a point to defend its home court Tuesday.
After all, it was the first time the school’s girls basketball team got to host a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game.
The sixth-seeded Spartans held No. 11 Mountain House scoreless for the final five-plus minutes of their first-round Division IV contest, and Myani Thornton erupted for nine of her team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter for a historic 57-48 victory.
It’s not the first postseason game for these battle-tested Spartans (17-10). Last year, they upset Calaveras on the road before falling to eventual runner-up West Campus. The experience they’ve gained since proved valuable on Tuesday, said Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis.
“We’ve been playing playoff basketball since December,” Davis said. “When they came back the girls didn’t panic and hang their heads, and the next thing we know we look up and had a nine-point lead.
“The gym was packed on our side, and to be able to do that in front of our crowd was special.”
Lathrop started well, but the Trans-Valley League champion Mustangs (19-9) battled back. Mountain House led 45-44 going into the final period.
“We started out a little overconfident,” Davis said. “They’re a tough club.”
The key was to keep Arielle Tala (18 points) and Andrea Garcia from attacking the basket. Lathrop switched to a 3-2 zone, which Mountain House exploited by hitting 3-pointers.
In the fourth quarter, the Spartans went to a matchup zone defense, using the length of 5-foot-11 Mary Cotton and 5-8 Danya Phillips to bother Mountain House’s shooters.
Lyric Moore converted a traditional 3-point play early in the fourth for the Mustangs, but it was tough sledding for them the rest of the way.
Cotton finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks and four steals. Phillips added 12 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and steals.
Lathrop travels to Sacramento on Thursday to face third-seeded Foothill (24-4).

Division III
Bradshaw Christian 43,
East Union 35
SACRAMENTO — An off shooting night doomed No. 11 East Union (17-11) on Tuesday.
The Lancers could only muster two points in the second quarter and trailed 18-12 at halftime. It was an uphill battle in the second half.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “That was pretty much the difference right there.”
Donja Payne and Ruby Daube led East Union with 18 and 13 points, respectively. Evon Bince scored 18 for Bradshaw Christian (18-8), while freshman standout Anaya Mejia had 13.
Although the team struggled offensively, Agostini liked his team’s effort in all other facets of the game.
“I thought our defense was really good,” he said. “We were worried about rebounding tonight; three of their starters are about 5-11 but we managed that pretty well.”

Division V
Ripon Christin 48,
Le Grand 45
RIPON — Kelly Engle helped the Knights (13-14) helped the Knights gain separation in crunch time, sinking 6 of 6 free throws along with a 3-pointer. She finished with 16 points.
Renae Heida chimed in with 15 points and 19 rebounds. Arisbeth Ceja had 17, and Giselle Mendoza 16 for the 11th-seeded Bulldogs (9-9).
No. 6 Ripon Christian heads to No. 3 Golden Sierra (15-11) on Thursday.