STOCKTON — Not even a fire drill could extinguish the hot-shooting display of the Lancers.
During Friday’s Valley Oak League clash at Weston Ranch, East Union jumped out to a 16-2 first-quarter lead and never looked back in a 53-32 victory.
“It was an excellent start given how we’ve struggled early on in our previous games,” said Lancers coach Jim Agostini.
He credited his team’s focus on the rivalry between these two schools.
Cougars coach Darrell Johnson can certainly attest to that rivalry.
“It’s been there during my nine years here,” said the first-year varsity coach, who had previously led lower-level teams at Weston Ranch.
Johnson also took notice to the fiery start by East Union (2-0 in league, 13-1 overall).
“They came out with a lot of intensity,” he said.
Spearheading the attack was Olivia Vezaldenos, Ruby Daube and Donja Payne.
The latter is a 6-foot-2 freshman who gives East Union a strong inside presence.
Vezaldenos led all scorers with 16 points. But she also did her usual distribution of the ball, getting her teammates involved on offense.
The result of that was a balanced attack, with Payne getting 10 points, Daube chipping in with eight, and Ciara Goodwin and DeJohna Pryor both scoring six.
Vanessa Vega and Cierra Jones had 10 each for Weston Ranch (0-2, 2-9).
“Vanessa played hard for us. She left everything out on the field,” Johnson said.
The Lancers led 27-10 at the half. The game was halted at the 3:15 mark of the second quarter due to a false-alarm fire drill.
No matter. East Union continued its roll when play resumed, making it 37-14 on Goodwin’s basket late in the third.
In the fourth, Vezaldenos and Daube closed out the game, displaying their ball-handling skills and unselfish play.
“It was fun just being able to sit back and watch them play,” Agostini said.