East Union started the game Friday with crosstown rival Sierra on a 9-0 run and scored the first 16 points of the second quarter, riding the hot hand of Olivia Vezaldenos to a convincing 60-38 win in Valley Oak League girls basketball action at Dalben Center.
“We pushed the pace,” Lancers coach Jim Agostini said. “We tried to put pressure on them and make them put the ball on the floor.
“She (Vezaldenos) is playing good basketball right now. She always plays good basketball, but as we progress deeper into league play the team is getting a lot more comfortable and running some good sets.”
Vezaldenos had 28 points throw three quarters and the Timberwolves (1-3 VOL, 9-8 overall) had just 19. She finished with 32 points including four 3-pointers.
“We definitely needed to get off to a good start,” Vezaldenos said. “Coach always gets on us about our starts and that is something we really wanted to work on.
“My teammates did a really good job of finding the ball and finding me and that helped out a lot.”
Donja Payne had a double-double for East Union (4-0, 15-1), scoring 12 points and making 11 rebounds. The Lancers forced 17 turnovers and were led by Ruby Daube (nine points) with six steals.
“I feel like we did really good playing together as a team,” Payne said. “I think we did a really good job.”
Kayla Wilson paced Sierra with 12 points.
“I thnk we played hard,” Timberwolves coach Martha Spivey said. “Rebounding killed us again tonight. We didn’t box out. We were not able to get offensive rebounds so we played defense almost the whole first half.
“But if we would have played some of our other games with the intensity we played tonight maybe we would have had some different outcomes.”
Weston Ranch 41
STOCKTON — In Sydnee Fryer’s first game back from an injury scare, Manteca (4-0, 10-7) put together what coach MaryAnn Tolbert called “a good, team win” Friday.
Fryer finished with nine points and four steals and was one of nine Buffalo players who scored. She missed the team’s first three VOL games and final pre-league contest after tweaking her surgically-repaired knee that kept her out for all of last season.
Loretta Kakala led all Manteca players with 13 points and seven rebounds, while upstart sophomore Rhiannon Genilla contributed 10 and seven. Seven Buffaloes contributed at least seven points apiece.
“I can’t say enough about her,” Tolbert said of Genilla. “She does the dirty work for us and has been a pleasant surprise.”
Elysia Hernandez made 6 of 9 3-pointers to finish with 22 points for Weston Ranch (0-4, 2-12).
Lathrop 36, Oakdale 19
LATHROP — A big second-quarter run was enough to propel Lathrop past visiting Oakdale during the early game on Friday.
The Spartans (2-2 VOL, 8-6) heated up in the final minutes before the intermission, getting 3s from Semajynique Steen, Gurveen Bal and Myani Thornton in the 15-2 run. Shaianne Brito converted on a three-point play in that rally while Danya Phillips connected on a bank shot.
“We picked up our pace (in the second quarter),” said Lathrop coach Dwayne Davis, who rotated nine players throughout the game.
The Spartans didn’t get their offense untracked until late in the opening period. That’s when Sheila Mertilien and Bal hit on 3s and Deja Andrades added a field goal.
Davis also praised his team on controlling the defensive boards. “We kept (Oakdale) to one-and-done shooting,” he said.
Bulletin reporter Vince Rembulat and sports editor Jonamar Jacinto contributed to this report.