Robert Orantes got the offense going with defense.
The junior guard had seven steals and shared game-high honors with 14 points to lead Lathrop High’s 63-47 win at Linden Tuesday. The Spartans (2-3) were coming off three straight losses in the 7th Annual Bronco Basketball Roundup at Fair Oaks’ Bella Vista High.
Lathrop trailed 28-27 at halftime before outscoring the Lions (0-1) 18-10 and 18-9 in the final two quarters.
Reserve forward Andrew Kovanis also pumped in 14 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Marcus Conley aided the cause with seven points and 12 boards.
“If we are buckling down and playing good defense, we just play better overall,” said Lathrop coach Bill Slikker. “Good defense is a better offense, and until we buy into that for 32 minutes we’re going to be in some tight ballgames.”
Lathrop next travels to Galt Dec. 13 to square off with Liberty Ranch.
St. Joseph Notre Dame 55, Ripon 43
Ripon opened its season in Alameda against the state’s reigning Division-V champion and fared well.
St. Joseph (2-0) closed out the first quarter with seven unanswered points to lead 15-8 and never looked back. The Indians got as close as eight late in the third quarter but couldn’t get over the hump.
Cole Herrin and Jake McCreath poured in 14 points apiece to lead Ripon. Nick Lacy buried four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 23 for the Pilots.
“It took some time for us to adjust to their speed — we had a lot of turnovers at the start because of their speed,” Ripon coach Rod Wright said. “Overall, for our first game, we did all right against a very athletic team.”
Lathrop 50, Linden 41
Mykail Redman posted 15 points with Nilo Yuson chipping in 11 to help the Spartans improve to 2-0.