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Defense helps EU race past Atwater
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ATWATER — Down 6-0 out the gate, East Union ramped up the defensive pressure to ignite the offense and roll to a 65-47 victory over Atwater.
Olivia Vezaldenos nearly had a triple-double, finishing with 21 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Ruby Daube added 14 points and eight assists. The Lancers also received contributions from their underclassmen, as sophomore guard Hailey Gosney pumped in 11 points and 6-foot-2 freshman Donja Payne posted nine points and seven boards.
Alondra Ponce spearheaded Atwater with 16 points.
East Union shook off the sluggish start and led 19-11 after the first quarter. It closed with a 21-7 barrage in the fourth.
“We got the transition game going pretty well,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said, “and the defense got better as the game went along. It’s still the beginning of the year. There are no shortcuts and we still have to put the hard work in.”

Ripon 58, Tokay 24
RIPON — Despite having two starting guards out with injuries, the Indians were able to hold Tokay to single-digit scoring in three quarters — including just one point in the first — in their season opener.
With senior guards Haylee Monroe (finger) and Jill Jamero (ankle) sidelined, junior twins Mariah and Maciah Strickland helped carry the load. Mariah finished with 17 points, Maciah added 13 and they each canned three 3-pointers. Sarah DeFreitas and Carla Calderon chipped in eight points apiece.
Ripon totaled 35 steals for the night.

Lathrop 56, Downey 33
LATHROP — Myani Thornton exploded for 21 points, and Dayna Phillips had 11 for the Spartans. They were sparked early on by their defense and led 34-16 at halftime.
“Total team effort on the defensive end of the floor,” Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis said, noting that the team’s depth helped wear down the Knights. “We missed a few shots we’d like to finish but it’s a good way to start the season.”

Escalon Tournament
Central Catholic 63,
Ripon Christian 29
ESCALON — Central Catholic standout Danielle Friedrich spearheaded three Raiders in double figures with 21 points in the Escalon Lions Club Tournament opener. Alexandra Candelario and Jasmine Kelly fired 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Nicole Graham scored 11 points for Ripon Christian, and Jessica Van Vliet secured eight rebounds. It was a rough shooting effort for the Knights, who were 9 for 56 from the field and 9 for 27 from the free-throw line. They play the loser of the Waterford-Millennium game tonight.

Lathrop 34, Downey 17
LATHROP — Lathrop allowed just two points in each of the first two quarters, while Mary Cotton did most of the damage offensively with 14 points

East Union 35, Atwater 16
ATWATER — Nina Murphy poured in 20 points to pace East Union.

Lathrop 31, Downey 14
LATHROP — Kishara Gray accounted for the majority of Lathrop’s points with 16.