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GIRLS HOOPS: East Union repels Raiders in OT
Payne scores 23 points, delivers clutch baskets for Lancers
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East Union appeared to be on its way to victory … and then defeat.
Leading by as much as 11 in the second half, the Lancers went ice cold from the field and allowed visiting Central Catholic to jump ahead 38-33 with 1:55 remaining at Dalben Center.
Fourth-year center Donja Payne came up with clutch baskets down the stretch to force overtime, and East Union dominated the extra period for a hard-earned 50-42 triumph.
“We faced a little adversity and fought our way out of a tough situation,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “The girls were excited in the huddle going into overtime.”
The 6-foot-2 Payne followed up her 31-point, 14-rebound outburst against Weston Ranch with another gem during the opening week of Valley Oak League play. On Friday, she had a game-high 23 points and blocked seven shots.
Payne jump started the late comeback with a put-back layup and was followed by a key bucket from Ala Tuuga. Central Catholic (0-2 VOL, 13-5 overall) then made one of two free throws to go up 39-37 but wasted an opportunity to widen the margin on its next possession, which ended with a shot-clock violation with 14.9 seconds to go.
East Union (2-0, 11-5) looked for Payne to send it into overtime, and she delivered with a short-range shot with six seconds left. The Raiders did not call a timeout and missed a desperation 3 as time expired.
Overtime belonged to the Lancers, who outscored Central Catholic, 11-3. They didn’t look back after Julia Vezaldenos drained a 3-pointer on their first possession. Tuuga added a baseline jumper, and East Union made all four of its free throws to close it out.
Vezaldenos ended with 12 points, while Tuuga had eight. Jasmine Kelly paced Central Catholic with 22 points.
“Kelly is a good player,” Agostini said. “She demands a lot of attention.”

Kimball 60, Weston Ranch 57
STOCKTON — The Cougars (0-2 VOL, 7-9 overall) made a game of it after trailing 43-28 at halftime. They never led but were able to tie it with a free throw late in the contest before reigning VOL co-champion Kimball (2-0, 13-3) finished it with two free throws.
Kyshanti King fired 17 points for Weston Ranch while draining 7 of 10 from the free-throw line. Jennalyn Laminero hit all seven of her free throws and finished with 13 points. The Cougars otherwise struggled from the foul line, making 21 of 37 overall. Darnaysha Huff contributed eight points and 15 rebounds.
Alicia Leonardo and Isabelle Lacap scored 11 points each for the Jaguars.

Lathrop 61, G. Davis 12
MODESTO — Lathrop (4-0, 11-5) dominated the Western Athletic Conference contest and was able to give reserves ample playing time as several Spartans recover from illnesses.
They sprinted to a 19-4 lead, and Grace Davis (1-2, 2-4) was held to less than five points in every quarter.
Mary Cotton made her presence felt in limited time, finishing with nine points, five assists, four rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Freshman Kiersten Constantino paced all scorers with 11 points. Ayon Carter pitched in 10 points and five steals.

Junior varsity
Ripon Christian 30, Escalon 27

ESCALON — On Thursday, Samantha Anema gathered 18 rebounds while scoring 10 points as the Knights evened their Trans-Valley League record to 1-1.
Kristen Van Elderen contributed nine points, 10 boards and three assists. Allison Mendez finished with seven points, four rebounds.

Lathrop 25, Grace Davis 14

Lyllianna Avila scored 13 points for the Spartans and Sabrina Gedde added six.