Tustin turns it on, tops Valencia
PLACENTIA – After a bit of a slow start, the Tustin boys basketball team warmed up quickly and cruised to a 62-26 Empire League victory over Valencia on Friday evening at Valencia High.
Nick Hornsby and Deondre Bryant led the way as each scored 13 points and pulled down 9 rebounds for the No. 6 Tillers (15-2, 2-0).
Anderson Sauceda led Valencia (6-11, 0-2) with 6 points.
"We came out jittery, but the coach called timeout and told us to just play our game," Bryant said. "We're the defending champs and there is a lot of pressure on us, but we executed our offense and played good defense and rebounded well."
Tustin didn't make its second basket until there was 1:50 left in the first quarter. However, the Tillers defense applied pressure and held the Tigers to one basket in the first quarter.
Hornsby and Bryant led a late first-quarter rally as the Tillers built a 13-2 lead after eight minutes.
"We had open looks early but we didn't knock them down, but eventually they fell," Tustin coach Ringo Bossenmeyer said.
"We played well once we got warmed up," said Hornsby, who leads the Empire League with a 16.8 scoring average.
After Eric Schuster's basket at the 6:14 mark of the first quarter the Tigers went 20 consecutive possessions without scoring.
Schuster broke Valencia's 11:31 scoring drought with a basket with 2:43 left in the half. However, by that time Tustin led, 17-4.
Rob Nelsen's basket down the stretch extended the Tillers' lead to 24-7 at halftime.
The Tillers forced 20 turnovers.