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EU back on top of the hill

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Ashley Rose scored 19 points Tuesday night at Dalben Center where the Lancer beat Oakdale to claim at least a share of their third straight Valley Oak League championship.


POSTED February 18, 2009 5:33 a.m.
Considering East Union claimed at least a share of its third-straight Valley Oak League championship with a 61-39 blowout of Oakdale Tuesday night, the senior night postgame atmosphere inside Dalben Center was surprisingly subdued.

No confetti.

No mob at midcourt.

No nets became necklaces.

Instead, the Lancers chose to celebrate the careers of five seniors – each a lifer in the East Union basketball program – and look ahead to a meeting with the Buffaloes at Manteca High Thursday night.

“If we beat Manteca (and claim the Valley Oak League title outright), then we’ll come back and cut down the nets,” East Union head coach Jim Agostini said.

After a close one-point victory at Oakdale earlier this season, the Lancers were determined to erase any doubt early, and that’s exactly what they did.

Ashley Rose sank three straight 3-pointers to open the first and East Union raced out to a 10-point lead.

Lexy Posz’s steal-turned-layup made it 14-2, and Posz followed it up with two pinpoint assists, one to Shalane Jackson (10 points, 6 rebounds), and the other to Alyssa Wegner (8 points, 8 rebounds), to give the Lancers an 18-6 advantage heading into the second.

“Lexy’s been doing that for us all year,” East Union head coach Jim Agostini said. “It’s tough to share the limelight when you’re on a team like this, but Lexy has done a tremendous job.  

“Everybody knows that we have Rachel (McDaniel) and Ashley, but we’ve had teams with two great players and not much else. Lexy brings so much more. (Players like her) bring the final pieces to a team.”

McDaniel (5 assists, 5 steals, 6 rebounds) led off the second with a jumper and went on to score nine of her 13 during a second period that saw East Union’s lead balloon to 22.

Agostini inserted senior Kyrie Belme at the 2:25 mark, and for the remainder of the half all five Lancer seniors were on the court together.

Belme, Kati Davi, Wegner, Rose and McDaniel closed out the second up 36-14.

“There’s five of us, and four of us have been together since freshman year – Rachel was moved up to varsity our sophomore year,” Belme said. “We are a really close group. The whole team is.”

East Union collected 20 steals and handed out 19 assists as a unit.

Rose finished with a game-high 19, six steals and four assists.

The play of the game came with 1:29 left in the fourth when Belme found herself open under the hoop for her first varsity bucket.

Dalben Center erupted.

“It felt really good, when I was running back, I did have a tear,” Belme said. “I’ve been playing basketball all four years, and it just feels really good to be a part of it.”

Said Agostini: “We have to remind ourselves to enjoy it. This is high school basketball, and we understand that these things tend to run in cycles, especially at a public school.

“We’re enjoying it. It’s a great run. We’re not ready for it to end. We will continue to work hard as a staff and a program to see how long we can roll with this.”

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