RIPON – The opening stages of Ripon and East Union’s 2nd Annual Hoops for the Cure Classic were neck-and-neck, but the Lancers’ third quarter gave them all the room they would need in a 58-44 victory over the Indians Saturday.
The two clubs were separated by just three points at halftime, when Shalane Jackson and Kristin Piasecki took things over with a 17- 5 run, combining for 11 points and leading a suffocating defense that held the Indians to two field goals defensively.
“I thought that they came out with good energy, their energy was definitely better than ours in the first half,” East Union head coach Jim Agostini said. “I think the girls just got into the game a little bit more-and-more.
“And that is when things started happening for us.”
Ripon got a huge effort from junior guard Ruth Waters who led the club with 13 points by scoring in every quarter. But a sluggish third quarter plagued an otherwise efficient effort out of the youth-laden Lady Indians.
“I think our youth kind of showed,” Ripon head coach George Contente said. “We only had seven turnovers at the half, but we ended up with almost 20. They were just turnovers at the worst possible times.
“They were able to get a lot of good bounces, when we couldn’t get a bounce to go our way.”
East Union’s depth around the basket was the biggest challenge Ripon was forced to reckon with. Jackson and teammate Tiare Tu’uga giving East Union ample opportunities for second-chance points. Tu’uga pulled down 13 rebounds while Jackson posted seven.
That aspect coupled with the fact that Jackson opened the contest on a mission was too much for the Indians with one senior providing quality minutes. Jackson would score the game’s first and final points, finishing with a game-high 25 points.
“I try and come out fired up every game,” Jackson said. “I try and play as hard as I can every single game and take the ball to the basket because my team really seems to feed off that.
“It’s really just about trying to go out there and help my team.”
Piasecki would finish with 16 points prompting Jackson to note that “her confidence is there this year and teams should expect a lot out of her”. Tu’uga would finish in double-figures with 11. Tia Sidtikun would finish with eight for Ripon and Maria Cardenas would add six on back-to-back 3-pointers.
The Lancers outscored Ripon by four points in the fourth quarter for a 61-56 win in the first annual meeting a season ago, giving the Lancers a 2-0 lead in the event that is focused around educating, empowering and encouraging women about the risks associated with breast cancer.