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McDaniel, Rose unstoppable as EU runs past Weston Ranch
Ashley Rose dribbles around Denell Fox. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Coming off just their second loss of the season, a loss reminiscent to one suffered at the hands of Weston Ranch the first time around, there was very little that could stand in the way of Rachel McDaniel, Ashley Rose and the rest of the East Union Lancers Thursday night at the Dalben Center.

Not only did the final score read 62-39, East Union, it also read 43-39, McDaniel and Rose.

“When you get into important games late in the year, you rely on your veteran players,” EU head coach Jim Agostini said. “We talked to them and told them it was their night to take the team to the next level.”

The McDaniel and Rose Show started in earnest right out of the gate as McDaniel hooked up Rose on three straight assists, two for 3-pointers, and the Lancers stormed out to a 10-0 lead.

McDaniel finished the evening with six assists, four of which ended in a Rose bucket. Rose also had six assists, five of which went through McDaniel.

While Rose nailed five 3-pointers on the evening and scored 12 of her 19 in the first half, McDaniel dropped 18 of her 24 in the final 16 minutes.

“We’re friends outside of basketball, so that contributes a lot (to the chemistry),” McDaniel said. “I know her strengths and weaknesses, and she knows mine. We know how to play off of each other, but we also know how to include our teammates, because they’re just as important.”

Weston Ranch tipped off the contest with two starters on the bench and never found its rhythm throughout.

“The kids that were out there did a good job,” Cougars head coach Chris Bauer said. “We battled back well, we didn’t roll over, but (EU) is a good team. They didn’t miss much at all, and that makes it tough.”

Lexy Posz returned from an illness and saw limited but effective minutes for EU.

Posz hooked up Rose and McDaniel on back-to-back jumpers, the former of the 3-point variety, to give EU a 28-14 lead heading into halftime.

McDaniel started the second half with consecutive buckets courtesy of her backcourt mate and was unbelievable the rest of the way, sending in any number of acrobatic and silky smooth finishes.

“(McDaniel and Rose) make coaching very easy, they’ve been doing this for a long time for East Union,” Agostini said. “For us, our biggest game was tonight. Those two, playing the way they did tonight – it was awesome.”

Tiffanie Mack got into the act late in the fourth, nailing a jumper from Rachel O’Neal, and a triple from Kati Davi.

“We were not going to let another loss happen,” McDaniel said. “We’re tired of it. We wanted to step it up, and everyone did, I mean, T-Mack at the end hit those two shots, and I was so pumped up for her.”

Timnesha paced the Cougars with 14 and Denell Fox added 10.

The Lancers (21-2) improved to 8-2 in Valley Oak League play.

The Cougars (5-5 VOL, 15-8) dropped the third of their past four.

When asked if his squad is suffering from chemistry issues, Bauer took the opportunity to clear the air.

“It’s not so much chemistry,” Bauer said. “It’s off-court stuff; it’s our attitude, learning how to communicate. We’re a young team, and when we get frustrated, we don’t know how to express it.

“But the kids are learning, and they’re busting their butts.”