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Lowman's 30 points leads Eagles over Union Mine, 71-62

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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A strong defense, a hot-shooting Patrick Lowman and clutch free throw shooting led Vista del Lago to a 71-62 win over Union Mine on Wednesday night, as the Eagles inched closer to a playoff berth. Lowman scored a game-high 30 points and the Eagles made 12-of-14 free throws in the final four minutes of the game to secure the win, which improved their record to 8-3 in the Sierra Valley Conference and 12-14 overall. With the game tied at 14 after one quarter, Vista came out strong in the second quarter, outscoring the Diamondbacks, 25-13. Lowman scored 12 of those points, including a basket with 5:56 to play in the quarter that gave Vista the lead for good, 20-19. From there the Eagles went on a 15-4 run over the next 4 and ½ minutes to extend its lead to 37-23, thanks to eight points from Lowman, including back-to-back threes by he and Drew McPherson. “Pat’s a special player and he’s been in a funk lately, but he got a point tonight where they couldn’t stop him,” Vista coach Matt von Tillow said. Union Mine outscored the Eagles by three in the third quarter, but never got closer than seven points to the lead. The Diamondbacks opened the fourth quarter on an 11-5 run to cut the lead to three, 55-52, with 4:39 to play, but that’s as close as they would get to the Eagles. After the teams traded two points, Lowman and Jake Duenkel knocked down two free throws apiece to increase the lead to seven and Vista’s free throw shooting kept them in front the rest of the way. “We played well tonight,” von Tillow said. “Number 22 (Thomas Callonea) scored 24 points the last time we played them and tonight we held him to 16. We weren’t going to let him beat us. Pat did a good job on him and everyone else stepped up. I thought Ryan Rodriguez did a good job on the boards and with help defense, too. Down the stretch we did a good job at the line. When we have a lead in the fourth quarter, we’re confident we’re going to win because we’ve got four really good free throw shooters.” Following Lowman’s 30 points, Jake Duenkel scored 13, McPherson had 10 and Rodriguez finished with eight. Alec Vaughn led Union Mine with 17 points. Vista finishes the regular season at home Friday against River City.