By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Both Union City teams put the pedal to the metal from the starting blocks in their first games of 2013.
And while the Lady Tornadoes never took their foot off the gas, the UC boys put it on cruise control once safely in front.
The end results were a sweep of visiting Dresden for the Twisters, the girls’ game a 51-15 runaway and the boys’ a safe but not as wide 58-45 margin.
The wins were the third straight for both Union City clubs, the Lady Tornadoes now standing at 14-3, while the UC boys are now 11-5.
Tory Reedy drained four of her five 3-pointers in the first half when the Lady Twisters ran off a string of 21 unanswered points in the opener for the locals, while Union City erupted for the first 14 points of the nightcap but could never land the knockout punch after backing out of fullcourt pressure that overwhelmed the Lions from the opening tip.
Another home game vs. Liberty Saturday is next on the Purple and Gold schedule.
UC 51, Dresden 15 (G)
It was 7-4 before the Lady Tornadoes — coupling their usual good defensive prowess with a steady offense — cut loose with a flurry that buried Dresden (8-4), which made just six field goals the entire game.
Reedy sank three triples in the first quarter, and Kristian Davis added another to help UC open a 20-4 advantage at the period’s end.
The Twister girls continually set themselves up offensively by forcing numerous Lady Lion turnovers in the second period as the visitors went better than 10 minutes without scoring a point.
Another Reedy trey, a bucket by Tamara Nettles and a free throw by Kealie Reaves expanded the difference to 28-4 before Dresden’s Amy McAlpin finally stopped the bleeding with a 10-footer with 2:27 left in the half.
A 30-8 Union City halftime lead widened to 47-14 after three periods with the continuous clock and mercy rule in effect in the final stanza.
“Obviously, when Tory shoots like she did in the first half it looks good, but I was equally as happy that we were able to convert our good work on the defensive end into some offensive chances and points,” UC head coach Eddie Suiter said afterward. “We’ve played good defense most all season so far, but sometimes, it looks like we’re scared to then make plays on the offensive end with the chances our defense gives us. That wasn’t the case tonight.
“I was pleased, too, that we had a carryover from playing well in the holiday tournament at Hickman County. I thought our kids were really interested in playing over the Christmas break, and that’s not always the case. And we continued that type effort tonight.”
Reedy finished with a game-high 21 points — the only player on either team in double figures.
After the contest, junior forward Jackie Hudson was recognized for earlier eclipsing the 1,000-point mark in her career.
UC 58, Dresden 45 (B)
The Tornadoes stunned Dresden with an opening flurry that was capped by one of several early steals and a one-handed dunk by Marcus DeBerry.
DeBerry, who had 11 of his 13 markers in the opening frame, nailed a pair of 3-pointers during that time while LaMonte Dickerson added another trifecta to cap a 25-4 outburst to open the game and essentially end it before the first quarter was over.
Malik Stockdale had two treys and 10 points in the second stanza for UC, the second of which opened a 40-18 cushion for the Tornadoes just before the intermission.
As torrid as Union City shot early, the Twisters were that cold to begin the second half — missing their first dozen attempts from the field. Dresden got as close as 11 (40-29) on Brock Dilday’s bucket before Dickerson broke a Tornado scoring drought of 61⁄2 minutes with the first of his two triples in the period.
UC, which made only 3-pointers (5-of-21) over the final two frames and no 2-point shots, went back to its pressure in the fourth quarter to re-establish control, never allowing the Lions to get closer than 12.
“I take responsibility for how we played after the first quarter because I backed us out of the press,” Twister skipper Shane Sisco said. “I just feel like that some nights we’re going to have to be able to play halfcourt defense to win and not rely on fullcourt pressure. I was obviously pleased with how we started the game and the energy we played with. And even though we didn’t make them, our shot selection in the third quarter was good.
“I go back to what we’ve said several times, though ... when we make shots, it gets us going defensively. It should be the other way around.”
Stockdale (15), Dickerson (14) and DeBerry (13) were double-digit scorers for the victors.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 1.4.13