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HANGIN’ TOUGH

Dauby’s hustle plays catapult EU to 2nd round

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HANGIN’ TOUGH

Anna Wood pulls down an offensive rebound for East Union against Placer’s Rachael Wielbelhaus.

Photos by SEAN KAHLER/


POSTED February 26, 2014 12:30 a.m.

By DAVE CAMPBELL

The Bulletin

Two big defensive plays down the stretch by East Union freshman Ruby Dauby helped key a thrilling 53-49 come-from-behind victory in first-round action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs over visiting Placer-Auburn at Dalben Center.

With 1:24 showing on the fourth quarter clock and the score tied at 47, Dauby applied suffocating defense in the back court of the Lancers’ full-court press and forced a turnover, leading to a highlight-reel 10-foot falling-down jumper by Olivia Vezaldenos to spot East Union to a 49-47 lead.

At the other end of the court, Baylee Vanderdoes – who led all scorers with 20 points – missed a shot underneath and Dauby fought for the rebound in the corner drawing a foul before she slid out of bounds.

Dauby hit a free-throw and Victoria Vezaldenos intercepted the ensuing inbounds pass, drawing a foul and then sinking a free throw to bump the Lancers lead to 50-47 with 23 seconds left. The Hillmen added a field goal and East Union got two free throws from Marina Salyer to ice the win.

“I hustled back on defense and then she carried it,” Dauby said of the turnover she forced. “I just went for that ball on the rebound and I got lucky and she fouled me. I was nervous on the free throws but I came through.”

East Union coach Jim Agostini was pleased with Dauby’s effort.

“She’s only a freshman,” Agostini said. “She really gets her nose in there.”

After a first quarter that saw four ties, Placer (15-13) went ahead late in the period and started a 10-0 run that ran into the second quarter. The Lancers (19-8) managed a two-point lead in the second quarter and another in the third, not leading again until Olivia Vezaldenos’ jumper late in the game.

“It was a great team effort and we battled the whole night, playing behind almost all the way,” Agostini said. “We switched up a lot of things. We had to run the whole gamut tonight defensively against that team. We ran at least four defenses and the last one was the best – full-court, man-to-man. We thought we could get them tired and we did.” 

Freshman Loretta Kakala led the Lancers with 17 points and had five rebounds and three blocks. Dauby had 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. 

“It was a tough game,” Kakala said. “We work a lot on rebounding in practice and we had to box out tonight. The rebounds helped us toward the end.”

Olivia Vezaldanos had 13 points with four assists and four steals.

“I was having problems with my shots tonight,” Olivia Vezaldenos said”. So I tried to find my teammates.”

East Union shot a sizzling 21 of 26 from the free-throw line.

“Just like any other basketball team this time of year, it is the little things – rebounding, holding teams to one shot and shooting a good percentage from the foul–line that really help,” Agostini said. “We shoot a lot of free throws in practice.”

No. 8 East Union’s reward for beating No. 9 Placer is a trip to Fairfield on Thursday to face No. 1 Vanden at 7 p.m.

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