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Sonora wins big
Lancers off mark on offensive end
East Union guard T.J Brown pulls down the high pass in front of Sonora defender Aren Forster. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin
The rims at their own Dalben Center were unkind to the East Union Lancers.
And an angry Sonora team, fresh off its 59-38 Valley Oak League opening loss to Sierra Wednesday, was just as merciless.
East Union was held to just three points — a free throw and a fastbreak layup — in the second and third quarters combined, and the Wildcats cruised 54-18 Friday.
It was a quick reversal from Wednesday’s performance for Sonora (1-1, 8-5 overall), which was held scoreless for the first 11 minutes of the second half en route to suffering its worst loss of the season.
“We focused a lot on shooting in practice (Thursday), because we shot very poorly against Sierra,” Sonora coach Rick Francis said. “I might have overcoached and tried all kinds of different things against Sierra, but our best defense is man.
“Today one of our goals was to play tough man-to-man defense, and I thought our kids responded pretty well after we got our butts kicked on Wednesday.”
The Lancers (1-1, 2-12) battled valiantly to stay within reach in the opening quarter. Tyler Bylow nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to put East Union on the board with 4:17 left, and T.J Brown later intercepted a pass and scored on an easy layup to close the Lancers in, 10-7.
Sonora answered with a 20-3 run to end the half.
East Union did well to clamp down on Sonora’s standout forward, Brenden Evans, in the first quarter, but he still managed 16 points and nine rebounds despite sitting the entire fourth. The Wildcats had 10 different players score by game’s end.
Ricky Inderbitzin led East Union with six points, five rebounds and two steals. Inderbitzin and Brown had success in penetrating into the heart of the Sonora defense, but a combination of Sonora’s height and unlucky bounces kept the Lancer offense ice cold.
“I looked at this game from a couple of perspectives,” East Union coach Eric Simoni said. “We’ve had games like this before, however I feel better about tonight’s game than I did a few weeks ago. I feel like we never quit.
“We have to feel good about how much better we have gotten. Our goal right now is to be the most improved team in the league, and I think that’s realistic. It’s something that we can work towards, and of course we want to win games in doing so.”