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Lancers crush Ceres in opener

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Lancers crush Ceres in opener

East Union's Krystal Young races up the court past Ceres High defender Elizabeth Nunes during the Lancers' 52-29 win over the Bulldogs.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED January 6, 2010 2:39 a.m.
If there was a perfect way for the three-time defending Valley Oak League champions to tip off their regular season, the Ceres Bulldogs would likely say they witnessed that performance in the East Union Lancers’ 52-29 win.

East Union finished with four players in double digits and held Ceres standout Jode Johnson to just four points, including a meaningless bucket with minutes left in the blowout.

“We just looked at things they ran against us last year that they were successful with,” East Union head coach Jim Agostini said, “and tried to make sure the girls were prepared for that. We wanted to make sure we had two girls running at (Johnson) the whole time.”

The Lancers’ strategy resulted in Johnson working hard for touches and seeing very few open shots. Their effort on Johnson combined with early foul trouble for Ceres’ Jaime Beck left the Bulldogs in a predicament.

Before Ceres could find a way to make the season opener for a league that is seemingly up for grabs interesting, they were dealing with a ninsurmountable 29-8 halftime deficit. East Union trailed in the opening minutes 4-1, before running off on a 15-0 stretch.

The Lancers (1-0 VOL, 9-3 overall) were led by an impressive showing from senior Rachel O’Neal and sophomore Shalane Jackson. Both players finished with double-doubles, with Jackson grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring 10 points. O’Neal had a game-high 11 boards, eight coming on the offensive glass, to go along with 10 points.

“We all played well together; we were looking for one another early,” East Union’s Lexy Posz said. “Nobody cared about getting the most points or the best stats. We all believe in each other and that is good to have with your team.”

Posz was not to be outdone, finishing tied with a team-high 11 points with Krystal Young. Young added five steals, while Posz pulled down five rebounds.

The Lancers came into the contest expecting Ceres to give them a stiff challenge, but preparation for the Bulldogs gave East Union an advantage.

“This was just an all-around effort,” Jackson said. “Everyone was able to contribute in several different ways and it really was a great team win.

“We always go in hoping for the best and trying to play good basketball; tonight we were able to do that.”

The Lancers will have minimal time to rejoice in the victory, making a trip to Sonora Thursday to take on the Wildcats. Sonora is coming off a league-opening loss to Sierra, making its matchup with East Union that more important.

“We let the girls know that it’s the VOL now,” Agostini said. “This is what we prepared for 11 preseason games. We want to make sure that we are able to get off to a good start.”
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