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East Union has its way with dangerous Beyer
GBSK--Beyer-East Union pic 1
Beyer defender Jenny Cisneros tries to block the vision of East Union guard Olivia Vezaldenos, who ended up with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Lancers 54-41 victory Monday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin

What was thought of to be its biggest test of the young season didn’t end up to be much of one for East Union’s undefeated girls basketball team Monday at Dalben Center.

Olivia Vezaldenos led three Lancers in double figures with 16 points, but it was the team’s stifling defense that anchored a 54-41 win over Beyer of Modesto. The Patriots (8-4) were held scoreless for the first five-plus minutes of the nonleague contest and did not crack the goose egg until Destiny Avelar drained a 3-pointer with 2:38 to go.

Aliyah Smith paced Beyer with 18 points and seven steals, but Teanni Roberts was limited to just four after torching Gregori for 30 points on Friday when the Patriots opened Modesto Metro Conference play. Avelar poured in 19 in that game and followed that up with five on Monday.

“We saw Beyer play Friday night and they have some players,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “I don’t know if it was our defense, but we’re real pleased with how we played tonight. 

“This is a good checkpoint for us,” he added. “Playing a good, quality opponent like this you want to see where you’re at. How good are we? I don’t know yet.”

Agostini knows his team can get better despite the impressive effort. The Lancers committed 28 turnovers and made just 17 of 30 free throws, but Agostini appreciates the aggressiveness. 

East Union (7-0) bothered the Patriots with its half-court defensive pressure throughout and held them to single-digit scoring in each of the first two quarters. The Lancers led 27-12 at halftime and 44-23 after the third quarter.

Lania Taylor helped spark East Union off the bench in the first half when she scored six of her nine points. Freshman post Donja Payne pitched in 13 points, 12 rebounds and five steals. Rube Daube added 10 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals. Vezaldenos collected six rebounds and five assists to go with her 16 points.

East Union was able to get its points in a variety of ways, effectively running the fastbreak after defensive rebounds while passing its way through Beyer’s zone defense.

“We always want to put pressure on the defense however which way we can,” Agostini said. “We tell our girls to run the floor, especially the bigs, and Lania, Donja and Ciarra (Goodwin) ran the floor really well. That’s how we get balanced scoring.”

East Union will remain busy over the winter break. It has back-to-back road games starting tonight with Sonora, and on Saturday the Lancers begin the four-day Tracy Breakfast Lions/Tom Hawkins Tournament. Then the Valley Oak League schedule tips off Jan. 6 against defending champion Kimball.

“It’s great to be where we’re at right now,” Agostini said, “but we want to be playing our best basketball in January and February.”



East Union 49, Beyer 25

Nina Murphy fired 21 points, while Sarah Gloeckler chipped in seven for the Lancers.