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Tough losses keep Lathrop from first place
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WESTON RANCH — Lathrop High’s wrestling team finished 2-3 at the Junior Varsity Cougar Duals Saturday but were just a few points away from capturing the title.

The Spartans (3-4) split a pair of matches that were decided by a tiebreaking criteria and dropped their opener 42-40 to eventual champion Buhach Colony of Atwater.

“We were two individual matches away from taking first place,” Lathrop head coach Dimos Birakos said. “We wrestle tough, but we need to find a way to finish matches.”

After defeating Manteca 63-12, Lathrop edged Tracy 43-42 via a tiebreaker but later lost to second-place Lincoln (Stockton) by the same score. The deciding criteria was most first takedowns, which Lincoln claimed, 6-5.

Tournament host Weston Ranch placed third and defeated Lathrop, 57-24. Lathrop lost four kids to injury defaults going into that final match.

Andrew Aquino (112), Christian Pena (125) and Cedric Starling (285) each won all five of their matches by pinfall.

Greg Hawkins (145) racked up four pins but dropped out of his final match because of cramps. Mark Maynard (152) also went 4-1 with four pins.

Lathrop heads back into Valley Oak League action today against Sierra and Central Valley in Ceres.

Lathrop 49, Ceres 32

In Ceres, the triumphant Spartans (4-2 VOL, 8-8 overall) claimed their fourth straight victory behind Jasmine Elder’s 16 points.

Erica Sanchez pumped in 13 points, while Brittany Rallios and Crystal Ruiz each contributed eight.

“The girls are playing well,” Lathrop coach Ed Fang said. “They’re taking good shots and playing good defense.

“They’re having a lot of fun and learning a lot of basketball, and that’s the maiin thing.”

Lathrop continues league play at Weston Ranch Friday, 7:15 p.m., and East Union Saturday, 12:15 p.m.

Ceres 55, Lathrop 23
In Ceres, Denae Lusk scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Lathrop. Martina Carillo added six points.

— Jonamar Jacinto