East Union began its defense of the Valley Oak League title Wednesday and was outlasted by visiting Kimball 57-53 at Dalben Center.
The Jaguars (1-0 VOL, 9-5 overall) made seven 3-pointers and led by as much as 11 in the fourth quarter. East Union (0-1, 10-3) dwindled the deficit to two when Donja Payne scored on a put-back with 18 seconds left but failed to secure two defensive rebounds on the other end. Sabrina Zerbey was fouled, and she sank two free throws to seal the victory for Kimball.
“We knew they were one of the better teams in the league but we feel that we are also,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “These games in the VOL should be very competitive. This game went pretty much the way I thought it would except for the seven 3s. I don’t think we played a bad game tonight.”
Payne turned in another dominant performance, finishing with 23 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks. Ruby Daube added 15 points and five assists.
Kimball standout Donwane Anthony was limited by early foul trouble, but Brittney Hudson and Pearl Bautista picked up the slack by scoring 17 and 15 points, respectively. While the Jaguars did damage from the perimeter, East Union was held without a 3.
“The difference of the game was the long-ball shooting for them — they shot the ball really well tonight,” Agostini said. “You just tip your hat to that.”
Oakdale 46, Sierra 39
Alison Edwards torched Oakdale (1-0, 11-3) for 29 points, including four 3s in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough for the Timberwolves (0-1, 2-11) to overcome a slow start.
The Mustangs got the separation they needed in the first half and led 21-13 at the intermission. Zoe Gillen scored 23 points for Oakdale.
“We struggled offensively, but did an overall good job on defense,” Sierra coach Martha Spivey said. “Alison had a huge night and shot extremely well. She is easily one of the top shooters in our area.”
Central Catholic 72, Weston Ranch 67
MODESTO — Slowed by foul trouble, the Cougars (0-1, 6-5) were unable to build on their 32-29 halftime lead and take advantage of Justice Stitt’s torrid 36-point outburst.
“We had 10 fouls in the first quarter and that changed the whole complexion of our game,” Weston Ranch coach Darrell Johnson said. “We started to sag off because we had so many fouls and we were up double digits in the first half. We just couldn’t play as aggressively as we wanted to, which allowed them to set up their offense.”
The Raiders (1-0, 10-3) were anchored by Alexandra Candelario’s 25 points, and fourth-year standout Danielle Friedrich pitched in 18. Asia Stamps contributed 10 for the Ranch, which shrank a late eight-point deficit to one but came up empty handed on three possessions as it vied to retake the lead.
East Union 60,
The Lancers used a 24-4 burst in the third quarter to blow it open and enforce the running clock.
Julia Vezaldenos led a balanced effort with 13 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists. Nina Murphy chimed in with 12 points, Sarah Gloeckler had nine and Jaidyn Valencia eight.
Weston Ranch 38,
Central Catholic 22
MODESTO — Tied at 17 going into the fourth, the Cougars exploded for 21 points to run away with the win.
Dearri Ross and Mariah Gattas fired 14 points apiece to lead Weston Ranch.