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Lancers wear down Tracy with press
East Union remains undefeated but still rounding into form
East Union-Tracy girls basketball
East Union guard Taylor Snaer (2) rises for a fade-away jump shot over Tracy center Tiana Coble. - photo by STU JOSSEY

TRACY — East Union continued its undefeated streak to start the season Tuesday, racing away from Tracy 65-46 in a non-league clash at Bill Swenson Gym.

Senior guard Taylor Snaer led the Lancers (5-0) with 24 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals, while freshman Nylah Dyson netted 21 points while draining five 3s.

Leading 31-21 at halftime, East Union employed a full-court press in the third quarter to widen the gap to 20 on two occasions — Dyson knocked down a 3 to make it 50-30 with 1:04 left in the third, and sank an open jumper from the free-throw line for a 59-39 advantage with 5:15 remaining in the game.

Snaer is coming off an MVP performance in the Golden Valley Tournament while working herself back into game shape from an illness.  She exploded for 10 points in the third period, forcing the tempo with her speed and activity on both ends of the floor.

“I felt that we could probably press them, but we’ve been playing a lot of games of late and I wasn’t sure how much energy we had, so I was little hesitant to do it,” East Union assistant coach Rick Marsh said. “I didn’t like the way the game was going, so I asked them in the locker room at halftime, ‘do you have the energy to go full court?’ They said, ‘yeah.’

“We came out and did it. I thought it would go that way and give us the push that we needed to get control of the game. I didn’t like the tempo we were playing with.”

Mariela Navarro contributed eight points and three steals, and Donnese Payne added six points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in limited minutes. The 6-foot Payne made her season debut Tuesday after missing the team’s first four games with an illness.

“We have a post presence now,” Marsh said. “We’re pretty small without her and we had been really scrapping for wins without her. She’s around the rim, she’s a defensive stopper, she adds a lot of rebounds and she can score. It gives us another option to drop it in there for layups. “

Payne did not start, and it did not take long to notice what the Lancers have been missing.

Tracy (1-3) controlled the boards from the start, despite not necessarily having a height advantage. The Bulldogs finished with a 45-33 edge in rebounds — 24 of which came on the offensive end.

Lauren Hoock pulled down 18 rebounds (11 offensive), to go with two steals and four points, while Aliya Tipton made four 3s and had 20 points for Tracy.

The Bulldogs but made just seven of 19 free-throw attempts. East Union also left points on the stripe, hitting nine of 19, and committed 18 turnovers.

There are other areas Marsh and the Lancers plan to iron out in practice, but things are going well so far for a squad with five underclassmen.

“I’m really happy with where we are, but we have a lot to learn,” Marsh said. “We made a lot of mistakes on defense, and we were getting killed on the weak-side rebounds — we have to fix that. This is a team that doesn’t have a whole lot of experience, so the more they play, the better they’re going to get. We’re a work in progress, for sure, and for us to be undefeated at this point is really a plus.”

East Union plays next Tuesday, Dec. 13 at home against Atwater.


Junior varsity

East Union 38, Tracy 35

Izzy Avalos and Bellah Crabb collected 13 and 12 points, respectively, as the Lancers escaped with a hard-earned road win.