Shalene Jackson and Tiare Tu’uga are quickly becoming a lethal combination for East Union High thus far in the young season.
Both were instrumental in the Lancers’ 51-37 non-league win over Patterson Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
Jackson had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while Tu’uga enjoyed a game-high 21 points, 13 boards and four steals.
East Union improved to 4-0.
“I’m sure teams will be keying on those two,” said Lancers coach Jim Agostini, whose team passed its first test of the young season in beating the Tigers (5-2). “Anything we get from the other girls will be a plus.”
Allison Telles stepped up on this night by scoring 11 points’ including back-to-back 3s in the third period. Kristen Piasecki had four points, but both field goals came at crucial times, according to Agostini.
“We wanted to create the tempo early on,” he said of his game plan against Patterson
East Union was able to do just that, forcing the Tigers into turnovers – try 11 in the first period – while jumping out to 14-2 lead. Tu’uga had 10 points including a three-point play.
But despite the hot start, Agostini was concerned about the Tigers’ shooters, in particular, Dani Hansen and Shealyn Craven. Both hit 3s towards the end of the first period.
“I noticed they weren’t missing very many shots from the outside during (the pregame) warm-ups,” he said.
Up 17-10, East Union went on a 10-2 run in the second thanks to baskets by Telles, Piasecki, and Tu’uga.
At the break, the Lancers had a 26-15 lead.
The Tigers scored three straight baskets – all by Hansen, who had a team-high 10 points – at the start of the third period, trimming East Union’s advantage, 26-21.
“They got comfortable with our zone (defense) so we switched to man-to-man,” Agostini said.
East Union then put together a 12-3 rally, with Jackson and Telles leading the charge.
The Lancers continued to ride the momentum into the final quarter, building up a 47-31 advantage highlighted by Tu’uga and Jackson’s fast-break play.
Tu’uga, a 5-foot-10 sophomore forward, forced the loose ball on one end of the court that was scooped up by Jackson, who, in turn, found Tu’uga for the open-court lay-up.
“I liked the way we ran the ball tonight,” Agostini said.
He added: “We’re still a young team – this was only the fifth time that all 11 girls have played together in a game. They’re still learning about each other (on the court) and, as coaches, we’re still learning about them.”
Patterson 56, E. Union 42
Midway during the fourth period, the Lancers trailed the Tigers by just a point.
But then Patterson, behind Gianna Martins and Ariyana Cashen, broke the Lancers’ press by going on a 19-6 run to close out the non-league affair.
Martins and Cashen had 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Victoria Vezaldenez led East Union with 15 points.
E. Union 38, Patterson 24
Rena Dragony and Tia Torio paced the Lancers’ attack.
Against Patterson, Dragony hit for 14 points and hauled in 10 rebounds. Torio chipped in with 12 points, nine boards, and nine steals.
Anna Wood helped out with six points and seven rebounds. Samantha Gonzalez had six boards.
East Union (8-0) was fresh off winning its own tournament, the Camelot Classic, jumping out to a 15-2 first-period lead.