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Inside-outside tandem breaks through for Sierra
East Union’s Robert Vaughn is given little room to operate in the low block by Sierra center Jerrod Patton and reserve forward Bryce Hicks in Tuesday’s crosstown showdown at Dalben Center. - photo by Photo by CHRIS LEONARD
Trevor Nogueira and Jerrod Patton picked a good time to have breakout performances for Sierra High’s boys basketball team.

The inside-outside tandem accounted for 50 of the Timberwolves’ points, and Sierra got its revenge in a big way with 73-54 win at rival East Union Tuesday.

East Union (5-6 Valley Oak League, 10-11 overall) stunned Sierra (8-3, 15-7) on Jan. 8, 67-64, behind 14 team 3-pointers and a sterling 25-point effort from freshman Jordan Kron.
Nogueira, who had been slumping from the perimeter, put on his own 3-point shooting display Tuesday, burying six of Sierra’s eight treys to end up with 24 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The senior guard was complemented well by the 6-foot-5 Patton, who poured in a career-high 26 points to go with seven boards and two blocks.

“I just gave him the ball as much as I could, then I just let the game come to me,” Nogueira said. “It just felt like we got back to normal.

“We found our groove everywhere tonight. We got that inside-outside game working and everything was going our way.”

Patton stepped his game up while 6-4 sophomore forward Will Ward picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and his third just 11 seconds into the second half. Ward, typically Sierra’s first option in the post, finished with just four points, but that was four more than the Timberwolves needed in their highest-scoring effort of the season.

“People have been telling me lately that I need to unlock my true basketball skill and start playing to my full potential, and I think I did that a little bit tonight,” Patton said.

Sierra got a huge break before the game even started. Kron, the Lancers’ leading scorer for the season, badly sprained his left ankle during pregame warm-ups and didn’t enter the game until there was 1:38 left in the first half.

Kron immediately forced a turnover with a steal but was later pulled from the court with 4 seconds to go. He saw limited action in the second half, finishing with zero points, an assist and a steal.

Robert Vaughn tried to pick up the slack for East Union, as he turned in 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Teejay Gordon chipped in 11 points and sank three of the team’s seven 3-pointers.

East Union, to its credit, played well without its big scorer at the start, taking leads of 17-15 and 29-27 by the end of each of the first two quarters.

“We came out ready to go, with or without Jordan,” East Union coach Brett Lewis said. “But it might have been a much different game with him in there.”

Sierra took the lead for good early in the third quarter when Nogueira stripped Kron of the ball and went coast-to-coast for an easy layup to make it 31-30. Nogueira tossed in a 3-pointer from the right wing on Sierra’s next possession to cap the 7-1 run, and it was all Timberwolves from there.

“We got that little swagger back in the second half where we could score anytime we wanted to,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said.

Sierra hosts winless Lathrop tonight, while East Union heads to Oakdale Friday.