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Manteca drubs East Union in co-championship showdown

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Courtney Range of Manteca blocks the shot of East Union’s Alyssa Gonigan at Dalben Center Friday.


POSTED January 19, 2013 12:31 a.m.

The East Union-Manteca girls basketball rivalry has produced some epic clashes in recent years.

Friday’s contest was not one of them.

In the battle of defending Valley Oak League co-champions, Manteca crushed the Lancers 62-26 at Dalben Center. The Buffaloes (6-0, 12-5 overall) remain in sole possession of the conference lead, while East Union (2-4, 6-11) continues to take lumps in a rare rebuilding season. Manteca played its other crosstown foe Sierra on Wednesday, winning 66-35.

“No matter what our record is and no matter what their record is it’s going to be intense,” first-year Manteca coach Cody Norman said. “The girls came out to ready for practices and ready for games. There wasn’t a whole lot I had to do to push them to play hard because they played their rivals.”

The Buffaloes were hardly pushed Friday.

Courtney Range dominated in the paint and finished with 18 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks in three quarters. Point guard Mikayla Hasal also produced in limited action, turning in 11 points, seven assists and seven steals. Jessica Hasal burned EU from long range, as she buried five 3-pointers for her 15 points. She hit her first three 3 attempts of the third quarter and nailed another to make it four in the period.

Sisters Victoria and Olivia Vezaldenos scored seven points apiece to pace the Lancers.

East Union was in trouble from the start when Mikayla Hasal banked in a trey 33 seconds into the contest. She ended up scoring Manteca’s first eight points, while Range took over late in the quarter. Jessica Hasal’s 3 with 2 seconds left gave Manteca a 24-4 lead.

The Buffaloes took a 38-10 cushion into halftime. Their largest advantage was 38, 55-17, after Jasmine Odell (7 points, 5 steals) converted one of two free throws with 2:58 to go in the third quarter.

“They’re playing really good basketball right now,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “You pick your poison, and the poison we chose was the wrong one the whole night. They shot the ball well inside and outside and Range was hitting the glass.”

Manteca will be featured in the Martin Luther King Mentor Matchup at Vallejo’s Jesse Bethel High. The Buffaloes take on Benicia at 2:30 p.m. before returning to league with a road game against Oakdale Tuesday. East Union, meanwhile, heads to Sonora Tuesday.

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