Destiny Flores made two steals in the game’s final 30 seconds Saturday to cap off a tremendous East Union comeback and help give the Lancers a thrilling 47-43 win over Ripon in the 5th Annual Hoops for the Cure Classic at Dalben Center.
“I didn’t start off the game that strong and I knew I had to finish strong,” Flores said.
East Union (12-5) trailed 39-27 early in the fourth period and behind the hot hand of Ruby Daube went on a 15-0 run to take a 42-39 lead with 2:01 left on a three-point play by Daube.
The Lancers sophomore scored 15 of her game-high 20 points in the final period.
“We had a slow start and we listened to coach and got our energy back up.” Daube said. “We have a saying about how when the game hits the fourth quarter you have to bring your all and not give up and that’s what we did.”
Daube was 11 of 12 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
“We were patient,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “We were fortunate we were able to get into the bonus. Our girls were attacking the rim and fouls were adding up
“It makes it a little easier to come back when you are at the free-throw line and the clock is not moving. We shot the ball better from the line in the second half.
The Lancers was 23 of 35 from the free-throw line and the Indians were just 3 of 9.
“They made free throws,” Ripon coach George Contente said. “They had a lot of free throws and we hardly had any. And a lot of the free throws we had a chance to make rolled out.
“We got in foul trouble and that hurt us, and when we fouled they made their free throws.”
Adrianna Wood had a double-double for the Lancers with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Olivia Vezaldenos added 11 points, four steals and three assists.
Zaire Davis (seven rebounds) and Hailey Monroe (three rebounds, three steals) led the Indians with nine points apiece and Jourdy Richter added eight points.
This game is much more than just a non-league girls basketball game. It is a fund raiser for cancer awareness and both teams wore uniforms with pink highlights and the Dalben Center was covered with pink balloons and trim. Even the game ball was pink.
“Over the years this has taken a lot of work with George (Contente),” Agostini said. “I appreciate all the work he, his family and his team does because this is a wonderful cause. I am fortunate to have had my wife survive breast cancer – six years now – but we have a lot of friends who haven’t.
“But to be able to raise money and give back and for George to help out is great. This is the fifth year and coming into tonight we have raised five thousand dollars.”