East Union ended the third quarter Thursday night with a 6-0 run, capped off by Taylor Snaer’s buzzer-beating field goal to come within one point of visiting Kimball.
Snaer fed Donesse Payne underneath to put the Lancers ahead by a point to start the fourth period, but that was their last hurrah, as the Jaguars took the lead right back and held it the rest of the way for a 53-46 Valley Oak League girls basketball win at Dalben Center.
Kimball (3-2 VOL, 11-5 overall) pressed the entire game and East Union (5-1, 15-3) just could not get the upper hand against the pressure.
“We did OK with our defense tonight,” Jaguars coach Michael Turpin said. “It is a defense I learned about 15 years ago from St. Mary’s of Stockton. They taught it to me.
“I watched them go all the way through and win state championship after state championship with this defense and I have been doing it for about 15 years now. This is my first year here at Kimball with it and we’re learning it.”
Kimball’s 25-21 lead at the end of the second quarter was the biggest lead for either team in the first half. The Jaguars pushed their lead to 37-30 late in the third quarter before the Lancers went on their 8-0 run into the fourth period only for East Union not be able to hold onto the ball and therefore not the lead, either.
“At halftime, we told the girls that we were not playing sharp basketball,” Lancers coach Jim Agostini said. “And this was the end result of that. We played against a team tonight that was in a desperate mode and they needed a win. They played harder and a more solid game than we did.
“We value taking care of the basketball. And tonight we just did not do that with at least 20 turnovers and when you are playing these tough league games you have to value the possessions and take care of the basketball. If you start getting loose with the ball this is what happens.”
East Union’s Lani Tu’uga earned high-point honors with 17 points along with eight rebounds and five steals. Snaer (seven rebounds, three assists, three steals) added 16 points and Ala Tu’uga added eight points with seven rebounds, three steals and an assist.
Giana Riley paced Kimball with 14 points.
The Lancers play a makeup game Saturday night at 7:30 at Weston Ranch.
East Union 39, Kimball 23
After losing to the Jaguars 32-14 earlier in the season, Alexa Zuniga led the Lancers to the double-digit win with 18 points, five steals and five assists.
Angel Watson added 10 steals for East Union and Mariel Narravo chipped in four blocks and two rebounds.