Casa Roble’s imposing front line of 6-foot-10 Eric Stuteville and his 6-8 brother Mason is already a handful for opposing teams, but when 5-9 guard Jess Baucum gets it going the Rams are even tougher to stop.
That was the case Wednesday when upset-minded East Union traveled to Orangevale to square off with the third-seeded team in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs. Baucum torched the Lancers for four 3-pointers in the first quarter and led Casa Roble to an 80-60 victory with his 24 points.
“We had heard that their guard play wasn’t great, but Baucum couldn’t miss tonight, especially in the first half,” East Union coach Brett Lewis said.
Baucum helped the Rams (22-6) build a 22-8 lead by the end of the first, but East Union (18-9) didn’t back down. With their own inside-outside combo of Jake Danhoff and Jordan Kron, the Lancers were able to cut the deficit down to five at one point in the third quarter before Casa Roble retook control.
Kron buried eight 3-pointers for all of his 24 points, while the 6-6 Danhoff contributed 23. Sacramento State-bound Eric Stuteville added 19 points for Casa Roble, and Mason contributed 13.
“They really didn’t have an answer for Jake in the second half, but I think our slow start and missed layups hurt us,” Lewis said. “We let nerves get the better of us in the first quarter and we turned the ball over, and we missed a lot of gimmies — things that we normally don’t do.”
The Rams host No. 6 Patterson on Friday.
Modesto Christian 58, Manteca 16
The top-seeded Crusaders (25-3) of Salida led 18-2 at the end of the first quarter and didn’t look back.
Pacific-bound Raymond Bowles led MC with 15 points, and Manteca resident Tyras Rattler added nine. Sophomore call-up Marcus Montano paced Manteca (14-13) with five.
Modesto Christian faces No. 8 Fairfield in the second round.
Encina 75, Ripon
It was an uphill battle throughout as 10th-seeded Ripon (11-18) fell behind 18-9 early and struggled to contain Encina’s 6-4 standout Datwon Bryant, who pumped in a game-high 26 points. Da-Quan Bryant added 12 points for the No. 7 Bulldogs (20-7), who head to No. 2 Summerville in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Cole Herrin wrapped up his decorated three-year varsity career for Ripon with 23 points, while junior center Derek Hickman poured in 16 before fouling out.