East Union served notice to the rest of the Valley Oak League on Tuesday, using a blistering 24-4 fourth quarter to blast past host Weston Ranch, 78-36.
“You always try to peak at the right time,” Lancers coach Jim Agostini said. “And this young team that we have is playing solid basketball defensively.
“We’ve had some big wins but we still have to finish it up. We haven’t won anything yet.”
Kyshanti King led first-place East Union (9-1 VOL, 22-4 overall) with 25 points followed by Taylor Snaer’s 21. Lauren Pablo scored seven of her 12 points in the fourth period, but she said it was all about the defense.
“Our defense has got so much stronger as the year has gone on,” Pablo said. “And we came out hard on defense tonight.
“I’m excited to see what’s in store for us. I know we needed a good win here tonight and we could not take anything for granted.”
Jennalyn Laminero led the Cougars (2-7, 11-12) with 10 points.
“East Union is playing really well,” Weston Ranch coach Mike Williams said. “They came out played this like a game they had to win in order to win league and that’s what they did.
“They played like a team that’s going to win league and all the credit to them.”
The Lancers are currently tied with Kimball and have a bye Thursday before closing out the VOL next week on Tuesday at home against Central Catholic and on the road Thursday against Manteca, which trails East Union and Kimball by a game in the loss column.
The Buffaloes travel to Kimball on Thursday to try to knock the Jaguars out of first place and next week host Weston Ranch on Tuesday before hosting East Union for the season-ending showdown on Thursday.
Ripon 65, Riverbank 57
RIVERBANK — Ripon (8-1, 17-7 overall) maintained its lead in the Trans-Valley League but had to fend off a flurry of long-range bombs from the upset-minded Bruins (1-8, 4-16), who drained 13 from beyond on the arc and eight in the first half.
Riverbank led 30-27 at halftime.
“I have not seen a team in a long time make so many 3s in one half,” Ripon coach Rick Inderbitzin said.
The Indians weathered the storm and found their own stroke in the second half to escape with the needed win. Reina Sausedo thrived in the fast-paced contest, finishing with 23 points, 15 rebounds and eight steals. Mackenzie Hutchinson contributed 15 points and seven rebounds, while Mikaylah Vaught and Tianna Sidtikun scored eight points apiece.
Areli Zamora tallied a team-high 17 points for Riverbank, accounting for five of her team’s 3s.
Ripon Christian 53, Escalon 42
ESCALON — The Knights (5-3, 12-9 overall) closed on a 14-5 run and held the Cougars (2-6, 8-15) to seven fourth-quarter points.
Morgan Van Elderen led Ripon Christian with 24 points with Lydia Bakker chipping in 12 points.
The Knights host Livingston on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Lathrop 44, Grace Davis 25
MODESTO — Tied 22-22 at halftime, Lathrop (6-4, 9-13 overall) clamped down defensively the rest of the way and shut out Grace Davis (1-9, 2-13) in the third quarter.
Isa Paniagua scored a team-high nine points and was among 10 Lathrop players who scored. Kierstin Constantino chipped in six points, and Sydney Hanks amassed 14 rebounds to go with her five points. Freshman Alaba Olaleye, brought up from the lower levels, debuted for the varsity and scored four points but mostly made her presence felt defending the perimeter.
Lathrop 53, Grace Davis 13
Camila Dela Garza poured in 10 points for Lathrop, which had every player score.