OAKDALE — Ruby Daube spearheaded East Union’s dramatic 42-41 win over Oakdale with 21 points on Wednesday, but it was a key play in the final seconds that won’t show up in the stat sheet that gave the Lancers a chance to avoid a stunning loss.
Oakdale (1-2, 11-5 overall) took a two-point lead after making one of two free throws with 15 seconds remaining, and it was one big stop away from toppling the Valley Oak League’s defending champion.
Daube nearly blew the game-winning opportunity when she dribbled the ball off the foot of a defender, but she hustled to chase it down and flipped it to Jenna Zuniga. Zuniga found Hailey Gosney open on the right wing, and Gosney drained the 3-pointer with 4 seconds to go. The Mustangs were unable to get a shot off before time expired.
“It’s a typical play you don’t want to take for granted with Daube,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “She finds ways to be successful on the basketball floor.”
With Oakdale employing a zone defense to protect the paint, East Union struggled to find its shot but did manage to make six 3-pointers — three from Daube and two from Gosney (eight points). Workhorse center Donja Payne finished with just four points but was hampered by foul trouble throughout.
Led by Zoe Gillen’s 21 points, Oakdale controlled the pace of the game and staked an 18-13 halftime lead. East Union got out of its rut with a 10-0 onslaught at the beginning of the third quarter.
“We didn’t shoot well in the first half but our defense was pretty good,” Agostini said. “We just coulnd’t put the ball in the hole tonight, which happens — especially on the road.
“We can talk about ugly wins versus pretty wins, but as far as we’re concerned winning on the road in the VOL is tough. But the prettiest thing about tonight was the last shot from Gosney.”
Kimball 57, Sierra 24
TRACY — Alison Edwards once again led the offense with 14 points, but the Timberwolves (0-3, 2-13) otherwise struggled to keep up with the VOL co-leader.
Kimball (3-0, 11-4) held them to seven or less points in every quarter and was ahead 27-10 at halftime.
“Offensively, we got good looks at the basket in the first half but couldn’t knock down shots,” Sierra coach Martha Spivey said. “Defensively, Kimball capitalized on second-chance points and we did not execute our game plan.”
East Union 58,
OAKDALE — The Lancers used a 22-6 barrage in the second quarter to push their lead to 35-15 by halftime and coast to a one-sided win.
Nina Murphy led the attack with 30 points, while Julia Vezaldenos added eight.