LAKE ELSINORE — There aren't going to be many secrets between the boys basketball teams at Elsinore and Lakeside high schools, just a lot of execution.
For the most part Wednesday night, the execution was one-sided.
Seniors E.J. Twyman and Lawrence Chamberlain each scored 24 points and the Tigers (15-2, 1-0) forced 17 first-half turnovers to cruise to a 68-47 victory over host Lakeside (7-7, 0-1) in both teams' Sunbelt League opener.
In the first meeting between Lakeside first-year head coach Ross Wolter and his father, Elsinore co-coach Rick Wolter, the father got the upper-hand thanks to a pressing Tigers defense that disrupted the Lancers early while making up for the Tigers' slow start.
"We were a little bit sluggish at the start offensively," Tigers co-coach Pete Rettinger said. "But once we started scoring and getting a couple of baskets, we got our legs under us."
Twyman, the Valley's leading scorer, took some time to get into synch against Lakeside's man-to-man defense, particularly senior Melvin Washington. But Twyman adjusted and overcame a 3-for-18 shooting clip in the first half to tie for the team lead in scoring. He also had 10 rebounds for a double-double to go along with four assists and three steals. Chamberlain picked up the slack by scoring 17 in the first half.
"He's got to be versatile all over the floor," Rettinger said of Twyman, "and he can be."
"(Washington) forced him into some bad shots, and that's what we said to him," Ross Wolter said of Washington. "But (Twyman) started hitting 3s from two feet out (of the perimeter) with a hand in has face — you can't guard that."
Lakeside, under Wolter — a 2002 Elsinore grad — felt pretty good when it led 7-0 midway through the first quarter and kept the Tigers without a field goal until the 3:28 mark. But the bottom fell out then, as the Tigers outscored the Lancers 18-2 to end the quarter.
Elsinore led 40-19 by halftime and 59-31 at the end of three quarters. The Lancers shot 30 percent from the floor overall, including just 2-for-8 in a disastrous second quarter.
"It was panic mode," Wolter said. "It was panic mode, and we're a young team."
The Lancers simply could not overcome Elsinore's press, which was more aggressive than usual, as the team often relies more on a half-court trap. But with both teams ranked — Elsinore is rated No. 5 in Division II-A by the CIF Southern Section; Lakeside is ninth in Division III-AA — the Tigers wanted to pounce early.
"We came out and picked it up," Chamberlain said. "We got a wake-up call when we were down 7-0."
Senior John Manhard led Lakeside with 12 points, but turnovers doomed the Lancers — as did a decisive rebounding advantage to the Tigers. Elsinore senior forward Daniel Dedaux grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
"With their size, we knew we what we were facing, and we stressed it this week in practice," Wolter said. "We needed all five guys to box out."