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Lancers sweep Oakdale for edge in playoff race
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East Union completed a pivotal sweep of Oakdale on the road Friday, prevailing 55-54 in Valley Oak League boys basketball action.

East Union’s second-year coach, Brett Lewis, said the win serves two purposes for the Lancers (12-9 overall), who are solidly entrenched in fourth place at 6-4.

“Every game right now is a must-win for us,” Lewis said. “We’re trying to keep our playoff seed and hopefully move up a little more after our two wins this week.

“Sweeping Oakdale was also big for us because they were on our tails.”

East Union started the week ranked 15th in the first Sac-Joaquin Section playoff power ratings. The top 16 rated teams qualify for the postseason. Oakdale (4-6, 13-10) checked in at No. 18.

Friday’s rematch was similar to the first — an ugly 44-41 win for EU at home.

The Lancers led for most of the second half and was ahead 37-32 going into the fourth.

TeeJay Gordon led the way with 16 points, and Jordan Kron pitcjed in 12. Oakdale got 11 and 10 points from Blake Thompson and Manny Hernandez, respectively. The Mustangs hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to cap the final score.

“Oakdale is a tough place to play, and they’re a team that makes you grind it out with them and turns it into a low-scoring game,” Lewis said. “When we can get these small-deficit wins on the road against a solid team like Oakdale, we’ll definitely take them.”

Sierra 68, Kimball 42
In Tracy, Will Ward pounded first-year varsity Kimball for 24 points and was supported by Guillermo Nunez’s 16 and Eddie Andrade’s 12 to help keep the Timberwolves (7-3, 16-6) alive in the VOL title hunt.

Kimball fell to 2-8, 9-14.

W. Ranch 53, Lathrop 46
The league-leading Cougars (10-0, 19-2) pulled out their fourth-straight win that was decided by single digits. They can nail down at least a piece of the championship with a victory Wednesday at Sonora.

Marcus Conley scored 13 of his 17 points for Lathrop (0-10, 2-19) and led all scorers. E.J. Allen recorded 11 for Weston Ranch, and Dylan Alexander chipped in 10.