Tyler Bylow was one of six seniors to take the court for the East Union Lancers on senior night, but Bylow shined brightest with a huge 22-point effort against the winless Lathrop Spartans in a 64-41 Valley Oak League win Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
Bylow led all scorers on the evening, scoring ten points in the opening period on his way to his best outing of the season for East Union.
“I wish we would have had a couple of those nights from Tyler a little earlier,” East Union head coach Brett Lewis said. “Tyler played great for us and had his best night of the year. Twenty-two points is a very solid performance and I am really proud of him.”
Bylow connected on three 3-pointers, including back-to-back three’s to close out the first quarter. The East Union shooting-guard scored in each quarter, keeping the Spartans at bay with each run they would attempt to muster up.
“It was the last home game, so I just tried to go out with one of my best games,” Bylow said. “We all knew it was the last one, so I just tried to leave it all out there.
“Things didn’t really feel that different, I just got some opportunities and made good on t hem.”
Lathrop (0-16, 0-26) closed out its senior-less season without a win, but displayed the effort that can give the Spartans reason to be optimistic.
Lathrop trailed going into the intermission 34-23 behind solid play from Umar Muriset and Alex Pinedo. The Spartans snipped a double-digit lead to eight when Eric Davis dropped a long 3-pointer early in the second period, but that would be as close as the Spartans would get.
East Union opened the third-quarter with a 16-5 run, pushing a reasonably close contest out of reach with a near-perfectly executed third period.
“We started all seniors to open the game, when we normally start a lot of young players,” Lewis said. “So what we wanted to do in that third period was really try to get after it. We weren’t satisfied with the halftime score at all, we felt we could have done better defensively.
“That was our goal, to come out with a good third quarter, and we achieved that.”
Robert Vaughn, Ricky Inderbitzin, Teejay Gordon, Alejandro Gonzalez, Troy Hoffdahl and Bylow all scored in the pivotal third period, with Bylow leading the way with seven.
Lathrop’s woes continued throughout the second half, mustering up just 17 points. Muriset did all he could do in the loss, finishing with a game-high 24 points. The Spartans’ premiere post presence proved effective against the height-lacking Lancers, scoring early and often anywhere around the basket.
“Umar is a good player,” Lewis said. “He is a tough player and he really gets after it. They were down by 25 and he was still getting fired up every time he hit a shot.
“He had quite a bit of points early; he is a tough player to guard.”
Oscar Calix followed Mursiet in the stat sheet with eight points, while teammate Davis chipped in with seven.
East Union got nine points from Vaughn, eight points from Gonzalez and seven points, 12 boards from Inderbitzin. The Lancers will try and close out the season with a miracle when they travel crosstown to Manteca High and take on the Buffaloes Friday.