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Lathrop wards off upset-minded EU

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POSTED January 31, 2013 11:52 p.m.

LATHROP – For a moment East Union was right where it wanted to be.

It was in the fourth quarter, the deficit was four and the Lancers had Lathrop relegated to the tension of blowing a double-digit lead. East Union’s moment was brief, all too brief in fact, as Lathrop, led by junior Loreal Taylor, pulled out the 44-36 Valley Oak League win Thursday.

The Spartans saw a different opponent when the two clubs met in their 55-37 victory back on Jan. 11. East Union gave a valiant effort at the upset, fighting and scrapping in response to any run Lathrop put together. Lathrop opened the game on a 12-3 run, but the Lancers would close the half on a 6-0 run to get right back in it.

“We executed a game plan we had perfectly,” East Union head coach Jim Agostini said. “We focused on a plan we prepared and it stymied their inside play a little bit, Taylor still scored hers; we got into a little foul trouble with our bigs late. I applaud them, our hustle was great tonight. We probably got more 50-50 balls tonight then we have in four or five games combined.”

As much effort as the Lancers delivered to keep the game in striking range, Lathrop was as impressive in its effort to close it out. The Spartans turned to its force in the paint and Taylor didn’t disappoint. Each possession over the final four minutes went through her.

Taylor scored seven of her 12 points in the final period, providing Lathrop with all the offensive productivity they would need.

“I was pleased with the way we were able to run our offense and get the shots that we wanted,” Lathrop head coach Ed Fang said. “The girls stayed patient; we got beat to a few balls but that is part of the game.

“Our success was from showing good patience on offense and playing good defense.”

Taylor was definitely the difference late and teammate Jazlyn Simon handled the bulk of the early scoring, coming out and draining back-to-back 3-pointers to open the game. Simon was far from done, hitting another three and finishing with a game-high 17 points.

East Union also got strong back court play from freshman Olivia Vezaldenos (11 points) and senior Alyssa Gonigan (7 points). Vezaldenos was effective and efficient from the point, and as a tandem proved a force with Gonnigan. The pair scored all but six of the Lancers second half points.



Lathrop 38, East Union 33

The Lancers fought hard, but could not find enough points in the fourth quarter of a VOL loss to Lathrop Thursday.

Maddie Yslava led East Union (5-5, 12-8) with 15 points scored.

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