By JONAMAR JACINTO
Lathrop High’s shorthanded girls basketball team couldn’t overcome a poor start in a 61-46 loss to visiting Stagg on Monday.
Miranda Miner fired a game-high 26 points for Stagg (4-8), which led 18-7 after the first quarter.
“She was hot and we had no answer for her,” Lathrop coach Ed Fang said of Miner, who got much of her scoring by attacking the rim in open-court situations.
The Spartans (2-5) were down four key reserves, who were out for “various reasons.”
Loreal Taylor did her best to pick up the slack, pouring in 25 points, 15 rebounds (10 offensive) and five steals. She was rewarded all night for her aggression in the post, making 15 of 23 free throws. Akilah Lesley added 13 points, while Ashley Diboki pulled down nine rebounds.
“What hurt us tonight is that we did not take care of the ball,” Fang said, adding that the Spartans had 20 turnovers. “They (Stagg) really tried to stop our center (Taylor), and we didn’t have enough people step up and pick up the scoring. We need to keep it more balanced.”
Lathrop opens the Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament on Thursday against North Coast Section power Mission San Jose.
E. Union 60, Grace Davis 41
In Modesto, freshman center Loretta Kakala (13 points) spearheaded a balanced attack that powered the Lancers (4-2) to their third straight victory.
Point guard Olivia Vezaldenos contributed 10 points, seven assists and six steals. Madison Hoffman, Victoria Vezaldenos and Anna Wood each pumped in eight points. Ruby Dauby added seven points, and Marina Salyer registered seven rebounds and five assists.
The Lancers take on Tokay on Thursday to tip off the Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament.
Elk Grove 51, Ripon 46
The Indians (4-4) traveled to Elk Grove down two injured starters and suffered their third straight defeat.
Ripon did well to battle back after trailing 15-2 at the start of the second quarter and 23-6 at one point. The visiting squad even held a two-point lead in the third before the Thundering Herd (7-5) recaptured control.
Ellie Waters drained three 3-pointers and paced Ripon with 11 points. Morgan Carrico and Julia Victor each turned in eight.
Ripon begins the West Coast Jamboree at Ygnacio Valley High of Concord on Friday, 2 p.m. against Eureka.
Central Cath. 63, Ripon 55
Ripon (1-8) battled valiantly but came up short against the bigger, more athletic Raiders (8-2) from Modesto. The Indians led 24-23 late in the first half, but Central Catholic took control from there. Ripon, to its credit, managed to hang around until the final period.
Freshman guard Cole Stevens fired 15 points for Ripon. Chase DePrue and Derek Hickman chimed in with 13 and 11, respectively. Bradley Clark and Massimo Robbins each scored eight.
“They are one of the better teams in our area and our boys played well,” Ripon coach Rod Wright said. “We had to use the slow-down approach to keep them from running on us, but they forced us into playing more uptempo in the third quarter and that’s how they broke away a little bit.”
E. Union 44, Grace Davis 15
Jordyn Posz nearly outscored host Davis herself, scoring 14 points while swiping eight steals and four rebounds.
Marcella Salyer added nine points, five steals and four rebounds. Melissa Hansen and Lanaia Tayler had six points apiece for the Pages, who improved to 8-1.
Escalon 30, Ripon Chr. 16
The Knights (8-5) couldn’t get shots to fall on the road Monday.
Jessica Van Vliet’s six points, accompanied by seven rebounds, led Ripon Christian (8-5). Bailey Broker added five points, 10 boards and five steals.
Ripon Chr. 27, Escalon 12
Lindsey Van Groningen (eight points, 11 rebounds, four blocks) was a presence in the paint for Ripon Christian (4-3).
Abby Buitrago aided the cause with 10 points, nine steals and three assists. Beth Westeyen hauled in 10 boards to go with five steals and two blocks.