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Eagles soar past Lancers

Missed free throws, turnovers doom East Union

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Eagles soar past Lancers

East Union’s Victoria Vezaldenos reaches for the rebound while Enochs’ Mia Viss grabs it with both hands.

Photo by SEAN KAHLER/


POSTED December 10, 2013 1:57 a.m.

Jim Agostini refuses to use youth as an excuse.

But his East Union girls basketball team is young.

The Lancers, with two freshmen and a sophomore in the starting lineup, had opportunities to keep up with a veteran Enochs squad but ultimately fell 51-42 Monday at the Dalben Center.

East Union (1-1) had 24 turnovers and failed to capitalize from the free-throw line where it converted 16 of 36.

“I don’t want to say we’re a young team, they want to win now,” Agostini said. “We’re not going into this thing saying we’re young and we’ll be good next year. These girls are motivated and they want to be good now, but there are no steps you can skip.

“Tonight, we saw a lot of good things, but obviously there are a lot of things we have to work on.”

Returning sophomore guard Olivia Vezaldenos was limited to five points, four assists and five steals after opening the season with a triple-double at Downey last Thursday. Keana Viss (7 points, 6 boards, 4 assists, 4 steals), a 5-10 senior point guard, did a good job of shutting down Vezaldenos’ dribble penetration in the early going.

Victoria Vezaldenos paced East Union with 11 points and nine rebounds. Freshman guard Ruby Dauby added nine points.

Promising 6-foot-2 center Loretta Kakala added 10 points and 10 rebounds, but she sat out nearly the entire second quarter with foul trouble. Her presence was missed, as Enochs (5-1) grabbed 16 rebounds off the offensive glass in the first half against East Union’s nine defensive boards. Enochs held a 29-12 rebounding edge by halftime, and 41-31 overall.

The Eagles of Modesto claimed the 19th Annual Lady Cougars Classic at Golden Valley (Merced) last week. Their lone loss is against defending Western Athletic Conference champion Patterson (24-3 last year).

Katie Dillon topped all other scorers with 16 points. Six-foot post Akaysha Simpkins bothered EU with her all-around activity and turned in 12 points, 19 rebounds and four steals.

“We played a quality team that just played their sixth game,” Agostini said. “That will probably be one of the better teams we’ll face this year, maybe one of the five best we’ll face.”

East Union proved it can play with Enochs, but missed free throws helped the Eagles take a 29-20 lead into halftime. Enochs went on a 13-2 run during a three-minute stretch in which the Lancers shot 2-of-8 from the foul line.

Enochs later used a 9-0 flurry early in the fourth to take a comfortable 48-31 lead, the largest of the contest. East Union scored the final seven points of the game to make it respectable.

While free-throw shooting was an Achilles’ heel Monday, East Union did well to get to the line that many times. And it had some nice moments in transition when Enochs was able to push the pace.

“I liked the way that we were putting pressure on their defense getting into the double bonus early,” Agostini said. “I liked the way we ran the break; we can get it up the floor this year. We showed some signs in our second game, and there is definitely room for us to improve from here.”

East Union has another tough assignment in 3-1 Riverbank on the road Wednesday.



SOPHOMORE

East Union 41, Enochs 38


Marcella Salyer hit some key buckets late to help cap East Union’s come-from-behind victory. The Squires (2-0) outscored visiting Enochs 14-6 in the fourth quarter.

Jessica Pablo led the way for East Union with 10 points. Jessica Bautista and Alissa Burrola each finished with nine.



FRESHMAN

East Union 42, Enochs 33


Vanessa Cuellar’s 12 points and six rebounds spearheaded the Pages (2-0).

Guards Alaina Haena, Julia Vigallon and Angelika Sebastian combined for 12 points while adding eight, seven and six points, respectively.

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