East Union gave up the first nine points in a nonleague game against host Lincoln of Stockton Tuesday before clamping down defensively in a 51-41 win.
The Lancers (5-3) — winners of three straight — dominated the rest of the way and took control with a 17-5 second-quarter run.
“Take away that 9-0 run and that’s only 32 points we gave up,” East Union coach Brett Lewis said. “It was a huge defensive effort. We got after it against a good team.
“Going into the season we looked at this little stretch (of games) and knew it was the toughest part of our schedule early,” Lewis added. “The guys, especially the seniors, have stepped it up in practice. They are playing hard and know we have to play great defense to compete.”
East Union executed offensively, as well. Lincoln (5-5) concentrated its efforts on keeping Brandon Cline in check on the perimeter, but things opened up for him as sophomore Jake Danhoff and Alex Del Real took over early in the post.
Cline nailed three 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished with 13 points. Danhoff chipped in 12, and Del Real 10. T.J. Williams did his part by bringing his usual energy to the floor off the bench. In the third, he kept the momentum going for EU with a crowd-pleasing tip dunk.
“We were solid all around, inside and out,” Lewis said.
East Union hosts Ripon Friday at7:15 p.m.
Sierra 66, Golden Valley 45
The Timberwolves (5-2) ruled from start to finish against a quality Division-I opponent with balanced scoring and a stingy defense.
Joseph Berry buried three 3s for the bulk of his 13 points, Emmanuel Elijah finished with 12, Will Ward added nine and Justin Patton eight. Sierra outscored the Golden Eagles (7-3) 21-11 to break it open after leading 33-23 at half.
“We beat a good team on the road, and hopefully we can take the momentum against Lodi (6-1) at our place Thursday,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said.
Tokay 47, Manteca 33
Trevor Mabalon nearly outscored the Buffaloes (6-4) himself and amassed 21 of his 32 points in the first half. The 5-foot-7 lefty drained six 3-pointers.
Tokay (5-6) went on a 20-8 spurt in the second quarter and cruised from there.
Taylor Hasal led Manteca with 11 points. The Buffaloes face Valley or Tracy in the third round at West High today. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30.
West 64, Lathrop 55
A 22-9 barrage in the second quarter was all tourney co-host West (9-2) needed to get by an otherwise game Lathrop squad (4-4). The Wolf Pack sat on a 38-22 cushion at halftime.
Leading Lathrop with 14 points apiece were Marcus Conley and Joseph Sausaw, who also grabbed six rebounds and knocked down three of the team’s five 3-pointers.
“That (second quarter) lost the ballgame for us,” Lathrop coach Bill Slikker said. “Against a good team like that you can’t dig yourself a 16-point hole. To the kids’ credit, they fought back and cut it to 8 numerous times, we just couldn’t quite get over the hump. We played three solid quarters tonight, but we still have something to work at.”
Lathrop locks up with Valley Oak League rival Kimball starting at 3 today at West.
Lincoln 69, East Union 31
East Union (3-4) was quickly dealt with an uphill climb after a 17-3 first-half run had Lincoln well ahead.
Clay Cuneo scored 10 points for the Squires.
Golden Valley 56, Sierra 46
The Timberwolves (3-2) were led by three double-figure scorers but dropped their second straight nonleague contest.
Devin Nunez and Bryson Sanders each scored 11 points, while Carlos Quintanilla added 10.
Sierra 52, Golden Valley 24
A 20-0 second-quarter explosion helped Sierra (4-0) take a commanding 30-3 lead into the break.
Hunter Johnson’s 17 points led the way, with Josh Patton and Jordan Thompson chipping in eight and seven, respectively, in a balanced effort.