In a league with three new coaches and plenty of new faces in new places, Wednesday night's Southwest Yosemite League openers were kind of like the first day of class.
And Stockdale made quite the introduction, taking out defending league champion Independence 66-52 on the Falcons' home court, snapping their 12-game league winning streak in the process.
"Hey, Independence, until somebody knocks them off the mountain, they're the champs," first-year Mustangs coach Dave Purdy said. "It was good to come to their place and get a win in the opener."
Stockdale (13-3 overall) did it with a balanced scoring attack: Tucker Eenigenburg had 22 points, Christian Bayne had 18, Robbie Purdy 9 and Kiani Espiritu 6.
"We have multiple threats, and we make teams guard multiple guys," Eenigenburg said. "If you shut down me, Christian and Rob, we have guys like Kiani and Ty (Thompson) who can shoot, too."
Wednesday night was a shining example of that. The Mustangs raced to a 12-3 lead and never really looked back, scoring at least 15 points in every quarter and turning away Independence's only real comeback attempt with a 9-0 run to end the third quarter that stretched the lead to 20.
"We did a pretty good job of handling their pressure," Dave Purdy said. "You're going to have turnovers against them, but the key is to have turnovers that don't lead to layups. I don't think we had any of those.
"It's a team deal. We don't even keep track of how many points guys have. Christian scores big, but there are nights when Robbie and Tucker have scored 30, and Kiani hit some big 3s tonight, too."
This was Eenigenburg's night. He scored nine points in the first quarter and then drained a 3 to open the second. His third triple of the night put Stockdale up 61-42 in the final four minutes.
"I was just playing my part in the offense," Eenigenburg said. "Sometimes I score, sometimes I'm the distributor. It just depends on what the defense gives us."
D.J. Reed hit four 3-pointers for Independence (8-7) and finished with 23 points, and Isaac Clark added 17. The rest of the team combined for just 12.
"We didn't execute in the halfcourt, and we didn't make enough plays," Falcons coach Stan Davis said. "Once we got down 20, we had no choice but to play harder, but we have to start games that way."
The Falcons lost an SWYL game for the first time since February 2012, and this was their worst league loss since Feb. 1, 2011.
Last year, Independence finished 33-2, unbeaten in the league and as Division III section champions -- all with just two seniors in its regular rotation. But in the offseason, starters Derek Check, Malcolm Johnson and Brandon Robinson all transferred to Centennial, throwing Independence into a surprise transition period.
"We were surprised and disappointed -- and it was family-related, but it hurt us," Davis said. "... It's something that happened. We're still who we are. We're still here, and we still have an opportunity to be good."
So, clearly, does Stockdale, which now hosts Centennial on Friday. The Golden Hawks (14-4) made their own opening statement, blitzing host Frontier 98-58. And Liberty (13-4) won its first game at Bakersfield in five years, 65-64 in overtime.