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BASKETBALL: EU girls, Manteca boys net big wins; Lindsey scores 45 for Weston Ranch
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East Union’s girls basketball team had only seven players available Thursday for its showdown with visiting Kimball, which has been one of its chief rivals in the Valley Oak League in recent seasons. 

Their latest entanglement did not disappoint, as the Lancers’ magnificent seven managed to pull off a 55-50 win in overtime. Taylor Snaer hit the buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force the extra period and finished with 20 points

“Everybody had a part in this tone,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said.

His squad trailed by as much as nine points with about 2 minutes remaining in regulation and ended on a 10-1 run. Then in overtime, the reigning VOL champion rallied for nine unanswered points. 

Kyshanti King and Danielle James each hit a 3-pointer during the Lancers’ fourth-quarter comeback, while Kimball (4-1) cooled off. The Jaguars missed three of their last four free throws, setting up Snaer’s equalizing step-back 3 from the left wing.

In overtime, Kimball scored the first four buckets but struggled with East Union’s pressure defense from there. King hit another clutch 3, and Snaer made a layup in transition as the Lancers rode the final burst of momentum to victory. King finished with 10 points.

“It has been a tough season for us as it has been for everyone, but I am glad these girls to experience a game like this,” Agostini said. 

Lauren Pablo helped key the win on both ends of the floor, scoring 13 points while drawing a tough defensive assignment in Arianna Rodriguez. Kimball’s 6-foot center scored all of her 10 points in the first half when East Union employed a zone defense. Pablo, a natural guard, has been forced to play in the post for the shorthanded Lancers.

Marianthe Tsirelas paced the Jaguars with 12 points.

The two teams will go at it again tonight in Tracy.


Manteca 56, Central Catholic 53

The Buffaloes (5-0 VOL, 6-2 overall) were thinking big in their anticipated matchup with reigning league champion Central Catholic (7-2, 11-2).

Nick Bell, a 6-5 forward, burned the Raiders for 20 points and eight rebounds, while 6-7 Taj Mehrok racked up 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

“We definitely wanted to establish our inside game because we are a little bigger at those positions than they are,” Manteca coach Jason Hitt said. “(Central Catholic) did a good job of doubling them in the second half and our guards made some plays to stretch their defense back out.”

Central Catholic countered with the perimeter shooting of Arvind Sandhu and Julian Kuper, who scored 22 and 12 points, respectively, and combined for five 3-pointers.

Manteca’s JV lost 51-45, and the freshmen won, 63-55.

Weston Ranch 93, Sierra 36

Fourth-year guard Donjaé Lindsey enjoyed a memorable senior night, amassing what is believed to be a new single-game school record 45 points despite a fourth-quarter running clock. Lindsey hit five 3s in the third quarter and was presented a custom-designed ball signifying his entry into the program’s career 1,000-point club. 

The Division II NorCal champion Cougars (1-0, 1-1) blew open a 20-9 first-quarter lead and continued to heat up from there, firing 25 points in the second quarter and 32 in the third for a 77-26 advantage. 

Other contributing seniors were C.J. Ward with 17 points, Marshawn Smith with 15, Mi’Son Coilton with 10 and Ke’Yon Forbes with six.