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Kimball rides early momentum to knock off EU
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Behind the one-two punch of Pearl Baptista and Raziya Potter, Kimball jumped out to a quick lead Thursday at the Dalben Center and never looked back in a one-sided 65-46 win over East Union.

“They’re definitely one of the best teams in our league,” said East Union coach Jim Agostini.

Kimball will host Lathrop on Saturday in a battle for first place.

The Lancers (3-2 VOL, 9-7 overall) played their first game of the season at full strength, welcoming back standout junior center Donja Payne to the starting lineup. She suffered an ankle injury prior to league play. The 6-foot-2 center had a strong overall game, finishing with a team-high 15 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals.

But the night belonged to Kimball (6-0, 14-3), which opened up with a 10-2 lead thanks to a pair of 3s by Baptista. She also had a steal and a bucket.

East Union fought back on a pair of free throws by Destiny Torio and Payne converting on a three-point play followed by a bank shot.

Kimball added to its lead, reeling off 14 unanswered points in the second led by Baptista, who had five of her 18 first-half points. She finished with a game-high 26.

Ahead 33-16 at the break, the Jaguars got in attack mode behind the play of Potter, who took over in the third by driving, dishing, and covering both ends of the court.

She chipped in with 13 points.

The Lancers displayed some nice flashes on offense in the second half, including Payne getting ahead on the fastbreak and scoring off a pass from Torio. She also triggered the break after a block and steal. Julia Vezaldenos cashed in on the layup.

Vezaldenos had a strong fourth quarter, scoring all 12 of her points during that span.

Hailey Gosney added seven for East Union.

“I thought we played better in the second half,” said Agostini. “We need to get better defensively.”