Olivia Vezaldenos broke out of a recent scoring slump Friday and led East Union to a 46-38 win over visiting Lathrop at Dalben Center.
The reigning Manteca Bulletin All-Area MVP poured in 14 of her game-high 21 points in the second half when Lathrop, which trailed 21-9 at halftime, hung tough with improved efficiency on the offensive end.
Vezaldenos has found other ways to contribute on nights when her shooting stroke was off. In Wednesday’s Valley Oak League opening win over Oakdale, for example, she racked up 17 assists and six steals to go with her 11 points. She handed out six more assists Friday.
“Just told her that some nights you may go 2-for-8 and you can’t let it get to you — that’s basketball,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “She’s had foul trouble in a few of our games and that’s part of why her scoring was down, but she’s passing the ball well and the defense is still good. She just needed to be patient and she has been. Tonight she hit some big shots down the stretch for us.”
Anna Wood also left her mark, finishing with 10 points and 17 rebounds for East Union (3-1 VOL, 11-4 overall). The Lancers shot 11-for-15 from the free-throw line. Lathrop (1-3, 6-11) was paced by Danya Phillips’ 11 points.
“We got off to a nice start but credit Lathrop, they played good defense and kept it close,” Agostini said. “They play hard, compete well and keep coming at you. We wanted to keep them under 40 (points) and we did that, barely.”
Kimball 80, Manteca 50
In Tracy, undefeated Kimball (4-0, 17-0) was too much despite 22 points and 19 rebounds from Manteca’s Loretta Kakala, who came up a block shy of a triple-double. The Buffaloes dropped to 2-2 in league.
Sarah Nunes led Kimball with 23 points and was one of three Jaguars in double figures, including freshman phenom Raziya Potter (16 points). Kimball converted seven 3-pointers in the contest.
Weston Ranch 59,
The host Cougars (4-0, 13-2) held Oakdale (0-4, 2-14) to five points in the first and third quarters combined in the rout.
Elisabeth Alexander fired 21 points, Patricia King rung up 11 and Faizah Bass chipped in 10 off the bench. Victoria Gulley and Cierra Jones contributed six rebounds each, and Jyriaynna King swiped six steals.
East Union 50, Lathrop 37
Dejohna Pryor and Haley Gosney spearheaded a balanced effort from the Lancers (3-1, 10-4) with 11 points apiece. Faith Stofferahn contributed 10 points, and Kianna Ahlstrom finished with nine.
Ripon Christian 31,
Turlock Christian 18
Kelly Engel racked up 16 points as the Knights rolled past Turlock Christian’s sophomore squad in a nonleague contest.
Paige Vos collected seven points and five rebounds. Sabrina Van Vliet pulled down 13 boards.
Weston Ranch 53,
The Cougars (1-2, 6-2) won their first VOL contest behind Jaylah Evans’ 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Justice Stitt was the leading scorer with 16 points to go with five boards and three steals. Weston Ranch led 12-11 after the first quarter before holding the Mustangs to single-digit scoring over the final three periods to sprint away