After trailing East Union since the first quarter, visiting Central Valley of Ceres blanked the Lancers for more than half of the fourth quarter Friday night to narrow what had been a 13-point deficit to just five points.
Enter Lydell King.
In the span of 30 seconds, King sunk a free throw, drained a 3-pointer and grabbed a steal as part of a 9-0 run for some breathing room in a 60-44 non-league win for East Union in non-league action at Dalben Center.
“We had to apply more pressure because we thought they couldn’t handle it,” King said. “Our main objective was to play aggressive and rebound.”
King led the Lancers with 12 points along with six rebounds, four assists and a steal.
“He has been our best player this year,” East Union coach James Ward said. “He shows up every game.”
King was followed by Dylan Lee (11 points, six rebounds, two assists), Parmbir Khattra (11 points, three 3-pointers) and Eric Victoria (10 points, two 3s, four rebounds and three assists).
“We have four returning starters,” Ward said. “I have a lot of guys who can score and a lot of guys who can shoot, so balance is good, but I thought we could have played a lot better than we did.
“Our man defense didn’t help us, but our zone defense gave them some problems. We are going to be the smallest team on the floor every night so we have to find ways to rebound and ways to scrap.”
Lee had nine straight points for the Lancers with a pair of field goals to close out the first quarter and a 3-pointer followed by two free throws to start the second period.
“It’s all about moving the ball, playing hard, teamwork and hustling,” Lee said. “That’s what we have to do.
“Once we took the lead we had to keep our energy up.”
Nav Samra tied the game for East Union (3-0) at 5-5 with a 3-pointer on an assist from Khattra. King added a field goal to give the Lancers a 7-5 lead and Victoria followed that with a steal that he fed to Khattra to go ahead 9-5 and cap a 7-0 run. The Lancers led the rest of the way.
Angel Zamarippa led the Hawks (1-2) and shared high-point honors with King at 12 points.
East Union 64, Central Valley 24
The Lancers’ Luke Weaver tied the Hawks with 24 points. Bryan Howe added 13 points, and Andrew Fernandez 11
East Union 74, Central Valley 23
Jay Stevenson led a balanced Lancers attack with 16 points.
Anthony Seigh scored 15 points for East Union with Marques Hudson chipping in 13 points and Noah Calmes and Antonio Yamez eight apiece.
Junior varsity girls
Lathrop 45, Sacramento 28
Sim Ratpreet led the Spartans with 11 points on Tuesday. Lylliana Avila added eight points for Lathrop and Jayna Dizon six.