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EU closes in on crown with win

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Shalane Jackson had nine points and 10 boards in the Lancers' win.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED February 13, 2009 5:12 a.m.
Rachel McDaniel picked up her second foul just three minutes into Thursday night’s contest between East Union and Sierra High at Dalben Center, and for a half it appeared the Timberwolves were primed to pick up a huge upset.

But just as quickly as the door opened for Sierra, EU slammed it shut in the second half, outscoring the T’Wolves 41-22 in the final 16 minutes to collect a convincing 64-40 win.

McDaniel (20 points, 4 assists) and Ashley Rose (18 points, 5 assists) were once again the catalysts for the Lancers, but they were not alone.

Shalane Jackson just missed a double-double, scoring nine and grabbing 10 boards, and EU got solid production up and down the lineup.

“Sierra did a good job,” EU head coach Jim Agostini said. “They came out in the zone and extended out on Ashley. But we made a little adjustment to free up both (Rose and McDaniel), and it worked out well.”

Up 23-18 at the break, East Union broke it open with a 15-1 run that featured four assisted buckets.

McDaniel scored 11 in the frame including a 3-pointer and a beautiful layup just before the buzzer.

Rose, meanwhile, went nuts from beyond the arc, draining five 3-pointers, all told.

“I think Rose is leading the area in threes, I’m almost positive,” Agostini said. “Going into tonight she was shooting 42 percent from the 3-point line.”

Natalie Goulart (7 points) stopped the bleeding with a triple of her own, and Ariel McIntyre (12 points) added an offensive putback to make it 40-24.

But the damage had been done.

“We played a great first half,” Sierra assistant coach Johnny Aguilar said. “We did the things that we had talked about. Rachel got in foul trouble, we did the little things, and it turned out to be a close game.

“We went into the locker room with confidence, but knew that we had to come out and play two halves. We didn’t do it.”

The Lancers celebrated Winter Homecoming Thursday and the sixth man was as raucous as ever thanks to a little help from Taylor Edwards and the rest of the EU boys squad.

“We like our home floor,” Agostini said. “People talk about how the gym across town is a tough place to play. They talk about the gym up in the mountains. But you know what? Dalben Center has been very good to us, in four years we’ve lost one league game here.”

Heather Scharmann finished with seven for the T’Wolves (4-9 Valley Oak League, 9-13), and Alyssa Wegner grabbed seven boards for the Lancers.

East Union (10-2 VOL, 23-2) hosts Oakdale Tuesday, is a win away from securing at least a share of its third consecutive VOL title.

Sierra welcomes Central Valley.
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