TRACY — Lathrop’s boys basketball team appears to have found its stride.
The Spartans are in the 27th annual West Holiday Classic title game after avenging a previous loss to Tracy 64-58 on Friday. Just nine days prior, Tracy (6-2) defeated a struggling Lathrop squad, 77-64.
Now, the Spartans (3-3) are on a three-game winning streak after dropping their first three.
Junior Ballard paced them in the rematch, amassing 30 points and sealing it with free throws after Tracy had closed to within two down the stretch. He ended up hitting all eight of his free-throw attempts, while the Bulldogs were 11 of 24. Adonis Payton added 10 points for Lathrop, scoring all of them in the second half.
Matthew McDonald led Tracy with 19 points, while Lamont Couch and Marc Starling chipped in 15 apiece.
Lathrop will face an even stiffer test tonight with Lodi’s upstart Elliot Christian (5-2), which outlasted tournament host West (8-1) 96-92 in overtime Thursday before blowing past Kimball 80-64 in the semifinals. Elliot Christian is ranked 18th in Northern California, according to NorCalsPreps.
Cosumnes Oaks 64, Manteca 58
ELK GROVE — Tydus Verhoeven’s 22 points, 19 rebounds, 10 blocks and six assists weren’t enough for the Buffaloes (2-3) to overcome Running with the Pack Tournament host Cosumnes Oaks in the winners-bracket semifinals.
The Wolfpack (5-1) was led by Jeff Dresser’s 23 points. Brandon Gray added 16, while Greg Milton had 13. Sophomore guard Jorge Cedano contributed 14 points for Manteca, which trailed 26-25 at halftime before succumbing to a 19-8 third-quarter burst for Cosumnes Oaks.
Ripon Christian 50
RIPON — The Knights (6-2) have dropped back-to-back after winning their first six to start the season.
And it was a rough start that did them in on Friday, when Modesto (3-1) carried an 11-2 lead into the second quarter.
Andrew Vander Weide turned in 16 points to lead Ripon Christian. Ty Beidleman and Fletcher Jackson poured in 12 each. Esteban Martin scored 13 points for Modesto.
ANGELS CAMP – The Indians ran their season record to 7-0 with a sound thumping of the Bears in the Bret Harte Tournament.
Dorian Dougherty led Ripon with 12 points. Danny Hernandez and Aaron McDonough added eight points apiece, Troy Brogan seven and Nico Ilardi six.
Brogan had 10 rebounds, Grant Wiebe eight and Ilardi made four assists.
Brogan and Ilardi both flirted with double-doubles in the Indians’ first game at the Bret Harte Tournament. Brogan had 15 points and eight rebounds and Ilardi 10 points and seven rebounds.