East Union High coach James Ward called Thursday's Valley Oak League opener against Oakdale “a game of runs.”
His team got the better of it, defeating the visiting Mustangs at the Dalben Center, 66-52.
"It feels great to open (VOL play) with a win," said Ward, whose team will host one of the league's top teams in Central Catholic during the weekend.
He was pleased with how the game played out early on against Oakdale.
"I was surprised that they let us have the 3s," Ward said.
His Lancers (1-0, 10-7) complied by busting out with five treys in the opening period led by senior guard Parmbir Khattra, who netted a pair in that span while finishing with 13 points.
Dominic Garcia ignited the hot outside scoring attack for East Union, hitting a 3 during the early 10-0 run.
Oakdale (0-1, 10-4) trim the deficit to 10-6 only to see the Lancers go on a 10-3 rally, with Christian Cuevas and Lydell King both hitting 3s.
King, a Weston Ranch High transfer, and freshman Dylan Lee saved their best to help close out the contest. More on that.
The Mustangs found their range from the outside to close out the first quarter. But by then, East Union sported a 27-17 lead.
Both teams struggled on the offensive end in the second. Jason Steele and Lee provided the only points for the Lancers, who took a 31-24 halftime lead.
In the second half, Oakdale came to within a point of the lead on Jonah Norman's pull-up jumper. He led all scorers with 21 points.
Lee answered back with a pair of pull-up jumpers and Eric Victoria came off the bench, scoring on a drive to the hoop. Victoria then found Garcia in the open court for a breakaway layup.
Lee's trey provided the Lancers with a 47-36 lead late in the third.
Throughout the second half, East Union stepped it up defensively.
"They're shorthanded, missing one of their best players," said Ward of the Mustangs. "We played (defense) with some intensity."
Oakdale also had trouble isolating on King, who scored nine of his 13 points in the final period. In addition, he collected five rebounds including three on the offensive end to go along with his three steals.
Lee netted 11 of his team-high 17 in the second half.
Steele contributed with four rebounds, four steals and three blocks.
Christian Nuon chipped in with four boards and a pair of steals for the Lancers.
Oakdale took the JV game, 46-29.