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Timberwolves win, keeping postseason aspirations intact
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The Lathrop High boys opened the game clicking on all cylinders, jumping out to a double-digit lead after the first quarter, but it wouldn’t last, as Sierra High found its groove in the second on its way to a 44-35 Valley Oak League win Thursday.

Sierra (7-5 VOL, 15-8 overall) woke up and smelled its playoff hopes sinking away and responded with a 19-2 second quarter run to reestablish control of the game. Lathrop was able to convert easy baskets on the offensive end, but went frigid in the middle quarters, only connecting for six points.

“We had them on the run,” Lathrop head coach Ed Fang said. “We were playing great and hitting our shots, and then our leading scorer Jasmine Elder picked up two quick fouls.

“So I had to pull her and we didn’t get any sort of bench support.”

Sierra got another inspired effort from senior Alysia Atkins, who finished with a team-high 15 points, all coming in the second half and 11 of which came in the third. Michelle Arroyo chipped in with 10, sinking three 3 pointers.

Lia Unterholzner came off the bench to chip in with nine points.

Jasmine Elder shared game-high scoring honors with Atkins, finishing with 15 points, while Jane Visaya  added seven.

The Spartans will try and close out the season with high spirits, hosting the Oakdale Mustangs Tuesday and traveling to Tracy next Friday for a season-ending matchup with the Kimball Jaguars.  Sierra’s road to the postseason will be somewhat tougher, hosting league frontrunner Manteca High Tuesday and closing with a trip to Stockton to face Weston Ranch.

Manteca 73, Oakdale 23

The Buffaloes opened on a 23-3 run and never looked back, cruising to an easy VOL win over the Oakdale Mustangs Thursday.

Sharon Washington nearly outscored the entire Mustangs’ squad, finishing with 23 point in limited playing time. Both Jaci Gutierrez and Mikayla Hasal both chipped in with nine points. Gutierrez sank three 3-pointers for her nine, while Hasal dropped one.

Manteca (11-1, 20-3) is settled atop the VOL standings with two contests remaining. The Buffaloes will meet up with the Sierra Timberwolves Tuesday before closing the regular season Thursday against second place East Union High.

Weston Ranch 55, Kimball 32

After spotting the Jaguars the first quarter Weston Ranch pulled back into control, hammering Kimball by 23 points Thursday in VOL play.

The Cougars (9-3, 15-8) got a game-high 17 points from sophomore Emoni Wilson, while teammates Timnesha Wilson and Jasmine Starne scored 12 and nine, respectively. The Cougars were able to put things away with a 23-7 fourth quarter run.

“The kids started off a little sluggish,” Weston Ranch head coach Chris Bauer said. “But they played well in the second half.”