It took East Union seven minutes and 19 seconds to score its first field goal Tuesday night in a 47-30 win over Grace Davis at the Dalben Center.
Needless to say, the offense was a bit rusty to kick off the contest, but defense never takes a night off, and Tuesday was no exception as the Lancers’ picture-perfect press forced 11 steals and sparked the late-arriving offense in the win.
Down 8-5 to start the second period, Shalane Jackson’s steal at midcourt turned breakaway layup at the 5:45 mark gave the Lancers their first lead at 11-10.
By the time Rachel O’Neal scored her fourth free throw of the quarter five minutes later, the Lancers were up 24-12 and well on their way to their eighth straight win to start the season.
“There’s going to be nights where we come out and may not be firing on all cylinders offensively,” East Union head coach Jim Agostini said. “So we rely on our defense every night. We can’t take a night off there.
“It took a while to get into it, then the defense kicked in and we were off and rolling.”
East Union absolutely dominated the glass, especially on the offensive end.
Lexy Posz (6 points) collected seven rebounds, all on the offensive end, while Jackson (8 points, 8 rebounds) and Rachel O’Neal (7 rebounds, 4 offensive) were nails on the boards as well.
“I thought the girls — O’Neal, Jackson, Posz — did an outstanding job of hitting the glass,” Agostini said.
Ashley Rose (8 points), fresh off her recruiting visit to the College of Idaho, hit her second 3-pointer of the contest tostart the third, then dished off to Rachel McDaniel moments later for a layup and a 29-16 lead.
McDaniel led the way once again, scoring 12 points and handing off four assists.
“It was fun to watch them as a coach,” Agostini said. “When you see your team start to hit on all cylinders, it’s just a pleasure to watch. You can sit back and enjoy it a little bit.”
The fourth quarter belonged to Alyssa Wegner, who scored six straight points, all on assisted layups.
Wegner finished the contest with nine points and drew high praise from Agostini afterward.
“She just came in and just played like a woman possessed,” he said. “She dominated. She made killer drop-steps down low. Again, any time we get scoring down low, that’s just a plus for us. That’s good stuff.”
East Union collected 15 assists as a team and shot 15 of 32 from the charity stripe.
Kelsi Heather and Michele Davis both scored eight for the Spartans.
East Union now travels to Tracy for the Tom Hawkins/Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament.
Up first is a 4 p.m. tip with Tokay Friday.
If EU gets past the Tigers, a likely second-round matchup with El Camino awaits.
El Camino is the same squad that bounced the Lancers from the postseason a year ago.
“We’re looking forward to our games in Tracy,” Agostini said with a smile.