STOCKTON – Weston Ranch and Lathrop could only combine for eight first-quarter points Thursday but the Cougars went on a roll the rest of the way and defeated the visiting Spartans 55-26 in Valley Oak League girls basketball action.
“We had a very cold start,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “We had energy, we had the shots and we had the execution but we could not put the ball in the hole.
“But it is a credit to the kids that they didn’t get frustrated and they didn’t hang their heads.”
Lathrop (1-7 VOL, 6-15) was short-handed Thursday and eventually coughed up 20 turnovers in the first half, allowing the Cougars (7-1, 16-4) to take a 20-8 halftime lead.
“We lost one of our best players last week – Danya Phillips – to injury,” Spartans coach Dwayne Davis said. “And we already weren’t tall, so to lose one of the only post players we had meant we had to go small and that is where the game started getting away from us.
“In the first half we battled. We were able to keep them out of the inside pretty much but it got away from us with the turnovers on their press. We can’t give them 16 points in the first half off of turnovers.”
Elisabeth Alexander had seven steals in the first half for Weston Ranch and finished with 10, along with 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
“We always have a good defense,” Alexander said. “We know how to pressure the ball with good intensity to panic and then we go in and get the ball.”
The Cougars’ Victoria Gulley led all scorers with 14 points.
“We came out hard but none of our shots were falling,” Gulley said. “That caused us to have a slow pace but it is a good thing we picked it up in the second half.”
Lauren Collins led Lathrop with nine points.
Weston Ranch 37,
Vanessa Vega led the Cougars with 15 points and Nicole Bigornia added 11.
Shelia Mertilien scored 10 points for the Spartans.