MODESTO — East Union jumped out to a big lead on tournament co-host Downey of Modesto and made it bigger Wednesday before the Knights put up respectable numbers in the second half to narrow the gap but not close it.
The Lancers came out of Lyle Iverson Gym with a 65-53 win in first-day pool play of the Modesto City Tournament.
East Union (1-0) led 9-2 early and expanded that lead to 34-16 at halftime.
“We had an opportunity to put them away and we let them back in the game,” Lancers coach Ryan Tarr said. “We let them score 37 points in the second half and that was too much.”
The Lancers’ Gyse Hulsebosch led all scorers with 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
“The game went really well,” Hulsebosch said. “We shot well and we played pretty good defense, getting a lot of steals. We got our hands on the ball.”
Jesse Anzar complemented Hulsebosch in the back court with 16 points and was six of seven from the free-throw line.
“We had them on the ropes and we let up a little bit toward the end,” Anzar said. “But I think it was a good game overall.”
East Union junior Blake Greenlee scored 13 points in his first-ever game at the low post and reverted back to his days on the wing when he hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter.
“This was something new for me,” Greenlee said. “I have been playing the three and four position, and it is new to be a five.”
Miko Sablam led the second-half surge for Downey (0-1), scoring 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half. Teammate Kade Nomof was close behind, scoring just two points in the first half and finishing with 13.
The Lancers continue pool play today at 5:30 p.m. against Johansen of Modesto and wrap up the preliminary rounds Friday at 7 p.m. against Beyer of Modesto with both games at Lyle Iverson Gym.
The tournament concludes Saturday with pairings to be determined by pool results.