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Jackson’s 24-point, 18-rebound effort leads East Union

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East Union standout Shalane Jackson, right, and Manteca's Mikayla Hasal hustle for the loose ball in the second half of Thursday's Valley Oak League contest at Winter Gym.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED January 22, 2010 2:40 a.m.
Shalane Jackson was a non-factor in the East Union girls basketball team’s 52-47 loss to intracity rival Manteca in the third round of the Tom Hawkins Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament on Dec. 29.

The sophomore forward was held to just six points in that non-league contest, and the Lancers made a more concerted effort to feed her the ball in the high and low posts in the rematch Thursday at Manteca’s Winter Gymnasium.

Jackson shredded the Buffaloes to the tune of 24 points and 18 rebounds, and East Union didn’t allow a single field goal over the final 5-plus minutes to get its revenge, 59-49.

“We all knew that we didn’t play our best game against them the first time, so we knew that we just had to pick it up and everyone did,” Jackson said.

Lexy Posz produced her usual all-around effort for the Lancers (6-1 Valley Oak League, 14-4 overall), finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Sharon Washington turned in 20 points and five steals for Manteca (4-3, 11-7).

It was a huge win for East Union with one game to go in the first half of league play. The Lancers remain a game ahead of Weston Ranch in the standings, and Sonora fell to Oakdale 51-40 Thursday to fall out of a second-place tie.

Weston Ranch beat East Union 50-40 at home on Jan. 15, but East Union hosts Weston Ranch, Manteca, Sonora and Oakdale — all threats to knock off the three-time defending champion — in the second round of conference play.

That heavily favors the Lancers, who are riding a 29-game winning streak at home since the 2007-08 season and are 43-1 at Dalben Center in the last four years.

“The VOL is tough, and to come in here and get a win is great for us,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “In the first half (of league) we had road games at Weston Ranch, here (Manteca), Oakdale and Sonora and we get to face them at home next. But there are no automatics. We still have to play.”

Manteca missed out on a chance to get itself back in the race after dropping two of its previous three contests.

The Buffaloes were neck and neck with East Union for three quarters, and Cynthia Perez (eight points, six rebounds) closed them in 46-45 with 5:25 left with a nice dribble drive from the right wing.

Then Manteca went ice cold from the field, missing several open looks from inside and out while relying on Washington to score the rest of its points from the free-throw line.

East Union slowly raced away with a 9-1 run punctuated by a put-back from Jackson with 3:03 remaining. Posz, Krystal Young (six points, five rebounds, four steals, four assists) and Jackson combined to hit six straight free throws to ice it.

“We missed a lot of easy put-backs, and we missed free throws down the stretch,” Manteca coach Andrea Hiatt said. “They made their free throws and they made their little put-backs — that was really the difference of the game. It was your typical good Manteca-East Union battle, and they executed in the end and we didn’t.

“We don’t have time to be sad about this and hang our heads, because we have to travel to Sonora on Saturday. We just have to regroup and move on. We’ll see these guys again.”

East Union wraps up the first half of its league schedule against visiting Lathrop Saturday.
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