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GIRLS HOOPS: Cougars shock title hopeful EU in overtime
Bulletin girls basketball 2018-19
Weston Ranch's Shania Watts shoots over East Union's Donja Payne (31) and in front of Stephanie Mata (12). - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

STOCKTON — Weston Ranch’s Kyshanti King hit four free throws in the final four seconds of overtime Friday night to lead the Cougars to a thrilling 54-50 Valley Oak League girls basketball victory over visiting East Union.
“I was nervous a little bit, but I held it together and I concentrated,” King said.
King led all scorers with 17 points along with five steals and two assists. She scored all of her points in the second half.
“In the first half we just didn’t have it,” King said. “But we pushed and got the win.”
Weston Ranch (3-6 VOL, 10-13 overall) did not lead in regulation and did not tie the game until King buried a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter to make the score 44-44. Both teams botched an opportunity to score in the final 31 seconds, with the Cougars failing to get a shot off at the end.
“It was a phenomenal game,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “East Union battled and we battled. In the middle of the fourth quarter I told the girls we needed to show them the new and improved — what we’ve done, how much we have grown — let’s go out and show them it here.
“We came out and battled. We have grown from all of our games and finally put one together. It was kudos to the kids and how hard they have worked in practice. East Union is a playoff team and they will do well, but we got another win. It was a great win for the kids and a good win for the program. It was fun.”
Shania Watts (eight points) was part of the suffocating Cougars defense with seven steals and four rebounds. She grabbed a rebound with 14 seconds left in regulation to keep the Lancers (7-3, 16-9) from a second chance at a potential winning basket and midway through overtime she made a steal and went coast-to-coast to give Weston Ranch a 50-48 lead it would not relinquish. With 9.5 seconds remaining in overtime Watts forced a turnover which scuttled any comeback hopes for East Union.
“I was all about being smart and playing with my feet,” Watts said. “I had to make sure and play with the clock and not let my team down.”
Jazlyn White pulled down 13 rebounds for the Cougars and she notched 13 points along with two blocks and three steals.
Weston Ranch’s Darnaysha Huff scored 12 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds along with two blocks and two steals, with one of those steals helping preserve the win.
With 56 seconds remaining on overtime and the Cougars clinging to a two-point lead, Huff deflected a Lancers in-bounds pass off of an East Union player and out of bounds, returning a key possession to the Cougars.
East Union led by nine points at the start of the second quarter, but scrappy Weston Ranch battled back to trail by just three at halftime. Thanks to a tremendous sequence by Donja Payne (14 points, 18 rebounds, three steals, three blocks), the Lancers pushed their lead back to 34-23 late in the third quarter.
Leading 26-23, Payne got the 8-0 run rolling with a put-back basket. She set up two fast-break buckets with a rebound and a steal on the next two possessions and Ala Tuuga (11 points, 14 rebounds) finished the run with a bucket in the paint.
Julia Vezaldenos earned high-point honors for East Union with 16 along with four steals, two assists and two rebounds.
Lancers coach Jim Agostini was not pleased with his team’s lapses in discipline.
“In these VOL games, especially on the road, you have to play with a little more discipline,” Agostini said. “And for whatever reason I thought our discipline with our execution of the offense wasn’t there. We were just running around with false motion.”
East Union’s thrilling two-point win over first-place Kimball on Wednesday gave the Jaguars their first league loss and brought the Lancers (7-3 VOL, 16-9 overall) within a game of the league leaders going into the final week of the season. Friday’s loss drops East Union to two games back with two games remaining.
“This team worked hard to get themselves in the situation they were in and it can get snapped away from you that fast,” Agostini said. “You have to come out and play every night. The effort was there but we were just off the mark. This was a tough loss.”
Junior Varsity
Weston Ranch 59, East Union 32

Lea’zae Smith led the Cougars with 19 points and Krista Johnson added 11.
Danielle James scored 18 points for the Lancers behind five 3-pointers.