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Napas press too much for Manteca
East Union, Weston Ranch survive first-round scares
Manteca High’s Cheyanna Hesia tries to harass Napa guard Tatum Souza into a turnover during the first half of the Buffaloes’ 62-37 loss in the Tom Hawkins/Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament at West High Friday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

TRACY — Napa High was too fast, too tall and too good.

The Indians used their full-court press to put the game well out of reach by halftime and cruised to a 62-37 victory over Manteca in the opening round of the Tom Hawkins/Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament at West High Friday.

Napa (7-3) used a 12-0 run in the first quarter to charge ahead 24-4 going into the second, forcing 12 turnovers in the process. By halftime, the Indians sat comfortably ahead, 41-11.

“That was a painful first half,” Manteca coach Andrea Hiatt said. “At halftime our goal was to come out and win the second half, and we did.

“But that was an ugly first half. We did not look like the team that we can be.”

Manteca (5-4) never led in the contest and was a step behind for the entire first half.

Napa ran its offense with machine-like efficiency, rattling in uncontested layups and 10-foot jumpers on seemingly every possession.

But it was its full-court press that sparked the offense.

The Indians cut off every passing lane, and Manteca struggled in its half-court sets the few times they were able to get it past halfcourt.

“We’re usually fast with everything and very intense,” said Manteca forward Cynthia Perez, who had eight points and six steals. “But we just had trouble picking up their (press). Our press (break) is usually really good, but we just couldn’t get it done for some reason.”

The Buffaloes outscored Napa 26-21 over the final two quarters, but the Indians called off their press early in the third frame. Missed free throws worsened Manteca’s poor start, as it finished 12-of-27 from the stripe.

“We did not start out well,” Hiatt said. “Nothing was going our way; we were throwing the ball away and we were missing a lot of free throws. It was very uncharacteristic of them.

“We just have to learn from it and move on.”

Morgan Salsedo was Manteca’s lone double-digit scorer with 10 points. Sharon Washington chipped in eight.

Napa’s crafty 5-foot-10 guard Tatum Souza led the Indians with 17 points, six steals, five rebounds and four assists.

Noelle Roldan contributed 15 points and four steals; and Shannon Rankin turned in 14 points and 10 boards.

Napa next faces tournament co-host West tonight at 7:30, while the Buffaloes take on Downey at 4:30 at Tracy High’s Swenson Gym. West throttled Downey 65-12 in the opener.

East Union 59, Tokay 44

At Swenson Gym, the Lancers (9-0) were able to climb out of a seven-point hole in halftime to keep their undefeated streak alive. East Union buried 10 of 17 free throws in the fourth to run away with it.

Rachel Hernandez helped Tokay (3-5) stake a 29-22 lead by hitting five 3-pointers, but she was held to just two points in the second half to finish with 19.

East Union called on its best defender, Rachel McDaniel (13 points, five rebounds, five assists), to cool off Tokay’s hot hand in the final two periods.

Ashley Rose led the Lancers with 16 points, five assists and three steals. Freshman forward Shalane Jackson added 11 points and five rebounds, while sophomore guard Lexy Posz chipped in nine and eight.

“I thought the girls responded tremendously to being behind tonight,” East Union coach Jim Agostini said. “We’re having a great start, which is nice, but we need to keep things in perspective to what our end goal is.

“A loss this week wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to us. We’re still trying to have ourselves (firing) on all cylinders going into league, and we’re not quite there yet.”

East Union next takes on Modesto (5-5)at 6 tonight at Tracy High. Modesto upset Sacramento powerhouse El Camino (7-3) Friday, 63-62.

East Union previously beat Modesto 64-42 on Dec. 15.

Weston Ranch 57, Tracy 55 (OT)

At Swenson Gym, Courtney Duran nailed three clutch free throws in overtime to lead the Cougars (9-1) past tournament co-host Tracy (8-3). She finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, both team highs.

Jazmin Strane pumped in 11 points, Denell Fox added 10 and Amber Bell ended up with nine points and nine rebounds.

Weston Ranch had two starters sit for unspecified reasons at the start, leading to 22 first-half turnovers. The Cougars managed to turn it around in the second half, turning it over just six times while maintaining their composure through physical play.

“We could have folded and continued to have made a lot of mistakes,” Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer said. “But we kept our poise and played well enough to win. It was just a great effort.”

Weston Ranch plays Los Banos at 7:30 tonight at Tracy in the winner’s bracket quarterfinals.