The Lathrop High girls basketball team doesn’t have a playoff run to look forward to, but it isn’t going out without a fight.
The Spartans shook up the top half of the Valley Oak League standings with their surprising 46-45 win over visiting Sonora on Tuesday, dropping the Wildcats into a third-place tie with East Union in the hunt for the final Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth.
Lathrop (3-8 VOL, 7-16 overall) came through in crunch time for its biggest victory of the season. The Spartans erased a 38-27 deficit with a 19-point onslaught in the fourth despite their best player, Loreal Taylor (six points, 13 rebounds) going down with an apparent knee injury.
“That just fired our girls up defensively and they started to pick up the offense,” Lathrop coach Ed Fang said of Taylor’s possible season-ending injury.
Point guard Lauren Collins drilled three of her seven 3-pointers and led Lathrop with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists. Ashley Diboki and Brianna Fernandez added seven points apiece.
Bailey Henington netted 22 points for Sonora (6-5, 13-8), which previously downed Lathrop 50-32. The Wildcats appeared to be on their way to another rout of the Spartans after holding them to six points in each of the first two quarters and leading 22-11 at halftime.
“It was a total team effort,” Frang said. “I got all of my players into the game, we tried a lot of different combinations and the girls just kept digging and came out successful in the end.”
Ripon Christian 62,
Le Grand 44
The Knights (10-2 Southern League, 18-5 overall) used a 19-6 fourth-quarter run to turn what was a close game into a rout in Le Grand.
Travis Vander Molen paced Ripon Christian with 23 points and was 6-of-8 on 3-pointers. Danny Vander Molen added 14 points, and Jake Schollenberg contributed 10 off the bench.
Le Grand (3-9, 8-14) trailed by just two at halftime and was still in it after three down 43-38. Jordan Curtis scored 15 points for the Bulldogs.
Modesto Christian 86, Ripon 42
Ripon (4-6, 6-18) played its final Trans-Valley League game against Modesto Christian (10-0, 17-8), the small-school powerhouse that will move to the Division-I Modesto Metro Conference next season.
The host Crusaders rolled out to a 28-9 start and continued to dominate from there while holding a 42-17 advantage on the boards. Anthony Townes and Jeff Wu led four MC players in double figures with 17 points each. Derek Hickman scored all 12 of his for Ripon in the first half.
Modesto Christian 58, Ripon 24
Kelsey Alexander and Morgan Carrico churned out 10 and eight points, respectively, to account for the bulk of the Indians’ scoring. Northwest Nazarene University-bound Lexi Tubbs had 13 for Modesto Christian (10-0, 17-8).
Ripon 47, Hilmar 20
Felicia Ceja fired 12 points for Ripon, which also received six each from Breanna Barrios, Sam McCreath and Jasmine Parra.