East Union used a balanced attack and lockdown defense to take care of previously-unbeaten Merced 54-29 in the first round of Golden Valley’s girls basketball tournament Thursday.
The Lancers (2-1) held Merced (3-1) to single digits in every quarter and rolled to a 28-16 halftime lead after they ended the opening quarter tied, 9-9.
Mariela Navarro led East Union with 11 points, scoring nine of them in the fourth quarter.
“We took care of the basketball much better in the second half,” EU coach Jim Agostini said. “I liked that we were really sharing the basketball. Another positive sign is having back-to-back nights with good second-half defense.”
Nylah Dyson and Alexa Zuniga each poured in 10 points. Donnese Payne added eight.
Freshman Averie Steverson paced the Bears with 13 points.
East Union takes on Gregori tonight starting at 6:30 in the semifinal round.
Gregori 53, Ripon 36
The Indians (2-1) could not keep pace with Gregori (2-2) in the Golden Valley Tournament opener. The Jaguars outscored them 14-7 in the second quarter for a 24-16 halftime lead and didn’t look back.
Kailee Inderbitzin tried to keep Ripon in it with two 3-pointers in the third quarter. She finished with 12 points and four rebounds. Leila Sanchez added seven poins, and Kaylee Lehmkuhl had six points and six rebounds.
Lilly Staggs and Alanah Lopez fired 16 points each for Gregori. Ripon faces Merced in the consolation semifinals today.
Patterson 61, Lathrop 27
Lathrop (1-1) could not make up ground after falling behind 24-2 in the first quarter of the Los Banos Tournament opener.
Tati Lowery paced the Spartans with seven points, and Osen Ugbiyobo chipped in with six. Shakara Porter amassed 17 rebounds.
“We’ll come back tomorrow and fix a few things on the floor,” Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis said. “I told them we don’t win or lose a title after the first game, but our sense of urgency and intensity has to be 100 percent better and it starts with me.”
Ripon 55, West 49
In this battle of unbeaten, Ripon (5-0) held the Wolf Pack (2-1) from Tracy to just six points in the final quarter to win its first game in the Manteca Booster Tournament. The Indians tangle with Atwater (2-1) in the semifinals tonight starting at 7.
Dawson Downs knocked down three 3-pointers in the second half, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Landon Gillespie contributed with 12 points. Marcus Madoski pumped in 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Jack Schoolland added eight points.
West was paced by Jack Walker’s 16 points, most of which came in the first half when he buried four 3s.
Calaveras 48, Ripon Christian 43
The Knights (0-1) carried a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter but was outscored 16-4 down the stretch in the Ron Peterson Tip-Off Classic.
They made eight 3-pointers over the first three periods before running out of steam. Jace Beidleman led them from the post, racking up 12 points. Luke Crivello hit three 3s and scored 11 points. Amos Cady added 10 points.
Calaveras’ Mason Moser sank four 3s and ended up with a game-high 16 points. Corbin Curran scored 15.
Ripon Christian plays Beyer at 6:30 tonight.
Lathrop 53, Churchill County 51
The Spartans (1-2) are testing themselves with a challenging non-league schedule, which resumed Thursday in the Rocklin Tournament against Churchill County of Fallon, Nev.
Raymond Carson led the way with 24 points and nine rebounds. Reniel Crisostomo chimed in with 11 points and four boards. Bobby Cotton tallied seven points and eight rebounds.
Lathrop squares off with Bradshaw Christian today at 5.
Manteca 2, Gustine 1
Kai Masudi produced another clutch moment for the surging Buffaloes (3-3), who notched their third straight victory thanks to the freshman’s go-ahead penalty kick in the final minutes.
Manteca came back for the win. Fernando Lopez scored in the 51st minute to tie the score. Goalie Leo Garcia recorded five saves and earned his first win.
"The boys are grinders and they keep finding ways to put themselves in position to earn points," coach James Burns said. "We've been in every game we've played, and we're learning little by little what it takes to win matches."
Ripon Christian 2, Big Valley Christian 0
Dayna Koolhaas broke the ice with a penalty kick in the second half, and sophomore Alanna Blanco doubled the lead.
Goalkeeper Tara Heida secured her third consecutive shutout to start the season.
Frosh boys basketball
Franklin 43, Manteca 21
A defensive battle to start in this St. Mary’s Tournament opener, Franklin of Elk Grove raced away in the second half by outscoring the Buffaloes 29-11.
Mohammed Awan and Angelo Aguilar led Manteca with six and four points, respectively.