The East Union High Lancers scored 18 points off of turnovers in the first half Friday against visiting Enochs.
They all but sealed the 56-43 non-league victory with an 8-2 run to mark the fourth quarter.
In both cases, Brandon Cline’s outside shooting from beyond arc was the difference.
“When Brandon gets hot like that he opens things up,” said Lancers junior guard Justin Nieto of his backcourt mate. “It was enough for us to go inside and exploit Enochs’ defense.”
Cline finished with 21 points including six from 3-point range. He also got fouled while attempting a trey, sinking all three from the foul line.
East Union (4-3) was coming off an impressive road win over Valley.
“This was another big win for us,” said Lancers coach Brett Lewis, who had a tall order for his team against the Eagles’ lineup consisting of Ifeanyi Jimmy, Tyshaun Waters – both 6 foot 5 – and 6-4 forwards Gavin Weltmer and Jake Borges.
“We saw them in the Modesto tournament and we knew they had five guys who can shoot,” he added.
Enochs was aware of Cline’s shooting range. Yet the Lancers senior guard still found some wiggle room to convert three treys early on in the first quarter.
“It was important for us to give Brandon some early sets,” Lewis said.
With that, Nieto, who had 16 points, three steals and three rebounds, was able to set up Jake Danhoff’s basket, spotting East Union with a 14-3 lead.
In the second quarter, Nieto hit a pair of free throws and scored twice off of turnovers. Cline dropped in another 3.
The Lancers built up a 35-19 lead early in the third. But then the Eagles put together their best run of the game.
In the 14-6 run, Enochs capitalized on turnovers, in the process, trimming East Union’s lead to six, 41-35.
But Cline buried a 3 to derail Enochs’ comeback hopes. He hit another one, giving East Union a 49-37 lead.
Cline then had a steal down court, hitting Wayne Cheung in stride for the fast-break layup.
“We knew it was important to work out and come out with a strong mind,” Nieto said. “We’re still coming together as a team.”
Danhoff added nine points. He also had five rebounds and three steals. Brock Swift also helped out, getting four boards.
East Union will travel to Lincoln on Tuesday.
East Union 45, Enochs 36
Andrew Ruiz had 14 and Clay Cuneo chipped in with 11 to lead the Lancers past the Eagles in the early game.
East Union trailed 21-17 at the intermission, but put together a strong second half.
Joe Menzel netted six. He along with Ruiz and Cuneo accounted for 19 of the Lancers’ 28 second-half points.
Enochs 37, East Union 32
The Eagles put together a fourth-quarter rally to pull out the non-league victory.
The Lancers led 32-29 when Enochs closed out the game by going on an 8-0 run.
Cody Keener had 17 points to lead East Union. Lucas Garcia added six.