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EU edges Ceres with Jacksons buzzer-beater
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CERES – It all came down to the buzzer for the Valley Oak League’s top team that is looking to claim its four straight league championship.

East Union sophomore Shalane Jackson took the inbounds pass from Salina Tiscareno and scored the game-winning bucket with a layup as the Lancers snuck away with a 45-44 victory over Ceres.

Ceres (4-4, 9-9 overall), which now trails East Union (8-1, 16-4) by a 3.5-game hole in the standings, beat the Lancers in similar fashion a year ago, 48-47.

The two teams met at East Union in the league opener Jan. 5, and the Lancers won more comfortably, 52-29.

Krystal Young led the Lancers with 18 points, and Lexy Posz chipped in another 12 as well as seven assists.

But it was the role players, coach Jim Agostini said, that made the difference.

“Girls like Salina (Tiscareno) and Shalane Jackson deserve a lot of credit in this win – it was a team effort, and we should all celebrate it like one,” Agostini said.

It was the Bulldog s’ frontcourt tandem of four-year varsity starter Jode Johnson and 6-foot-2  junior Jamie Beck that gave the Lancers fits from early on,  forcing East Union to eventually step up both their pressing and trapping defense to regain the advantage.

“You can disrupt the ball handling of players when you do that and interrupt the flow, and it worked out perfectly for us when we needed it,” Agostini said. “We talked about how many games we had to pick up on the road, and this is a very big one for us.”

East Union has another big game this week with second-place Sonora visiting on Thursday. The Lancers are riding a 30-game winning streak at Dalben Center.

Manteca 43, Oakdale 25
Buffalo guard Sharon Washington singlehandedly outscored Oakdale’s entire offense, pouring in 27 points to lead the way.

Just as impressive, said coach Andrea Hiatt, was the team’s defense on Oakdale standout Cassandra Clark and the rest of the Mustangs.

“Obviously, (Washington’s) performance was impressive, but I was really thrilled with how we handled Oakdale defensively,” Hiatt said. “We’ve had games in the past that have really gotten away from us, and tonight not letting that happen was our goal. I think that we were able to achieve that.”

Central Valley 58, Lathrop 52
Despite a fourth quarter rally that drastically cut the lead, Lathrop were unable to pick up its first win of the season Tuesday.

The Spartans trailed 20-5 at the end of the first quarter but outscored the Hawks 19-4 in the fourth.

“We have a habit of digging ourselves into early holes, and those are hard to get away from,” Lathrop coach Ed Fang said. “We never gave up, and we came out after the half ready to play and that’s exactly what we did. The only problem was the damage had been done.

Jazlyn Simon led Lathrop in scoring with 20 points, while Jasmine Elder finished with 10 points.

— Jason Campbell