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GIRLS HOOPS: Lancers in the zone
Defensive adjustment helps East Union avenge loss to Manteca
Bulletin sports 2020-21
East Union's Taylor Snaer (2) splits Manteca's Jadyn Nieman (left) and Hailey Kent (22). - photo by SEAN KAHLER

Three steals early in the fourth period by Kyshanti King and back-to-back 3-pointers down the stretch by Taylor Snaer and Danielle James on Friday night helped East Union avenge a stinging loss to Manteca and escape Dalben Center with a 42-39 win in Valley Oak League girls basketball action.

“We had to change it up against them and what we did on Thursday,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “They did a great job of beating us off the dribble last game, so we had to keep the ball in front of us and we went to a zone. We were not happy about blowing a nine-point fourth quarter lead against them last night.

“When we are playing against a zone we talk about it all the time how you can’t make soft passes across the zone and they made a couple and Kyshanti with her instincts did a great job of cutting in front and getting those steals.”

With eight lead changes and five ties going into the final period, King (nine points, four steals, two rebounds, block, assist) gave the Lancers (5-1 VOL) the lead for good with 9.6 second left to go in the third quarter on a free throw to make the score 26-25. The Buffaloes (3-1) tied the game one more time in the fourth period. 

Snaer put up a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds along with a block. James (five points) added 10 rebounds. 

“We didn’t want to let the game slip away tonight like we did on Thursday,” Snaer said. “So we came out and worked harder. We just wanted this one really bad.”

Snaer scored eight of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter.

“She is very smooth,” Agostini said of Snaer. “Before the game we talked in the small gym how we could work on our angles for players like her to get driving lanes. 

“We didn’t have near as many turnovers tonight. But there is only one good thing about these back-to-back games for the coaches – you can come back right away with different strategies.”

Marci Chapparo paced Manteca with a double-double effort of 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Buffaloes won the battle of the boards 40-31 with Jaslyn Woods (eight points) grabbing 13 rebounds and Hailey Kent 11.  

“That was a first for us,” Manteca coach Greg Azevedo said of his team’s rebounding. “We kind of got a little bit more into the detail of that.

“This was a grinder, just a straight grinder. Like I told the girls last night, the team with more energy wins. Whoever has the energy to punch through, to get runs and to get stops – it’s all about energy. I knew that going into the game and my girls had a lull. And with the weird year the way it is there is just no consistency for rest and that really effects the game.” 

Azevedo is looking forward to a traditional season next year. 

“I’m going to tell you this,” Azevedo said. “Be prepared for next year because we are going to be something that is hard to handle and try to deal with. I already know what this is all about coming from Brookside to St. Mary’s to Venture – all state programs that I have been at – and I have the right combination of being able to transition this team into what I believe will be a state team and state school. 

“But at the same time East Union is a great school and Jim is a great coach. I have coached with him over the years and they have had great players and it’s going to be fun to see how things work out the next couple of years when we hopefully get back to normal.”