|SF girls triumph over UC flawed |
South Fulton girls’ coach Curt Lee conceded he would rather win ugly than not at all after his team’s 35-34 triumph over Union City Friday.
South Fulton’s Katie Bivens tries to fend off Union City’s Allison McCullough during the Devilettes’ 35-34 triumph Friday night.
It’s a good thing.
The Devilettes clawed their way to the one-point victory despite a 4-of-13 evening from the free throw line and numerous misses on admittedly easy shots in the lane.
“It was almost like there was a lid on the rim tonight,” Lee joked after the victory. “We were getting good shots up, but they just weren’t falling for us.
“Furthermore, our free throw woes only compounded the problems we had on offense, but I can’t complain too much at this point in the season. We’ll take all the district wins that we can get.”
The Lady Twisters had three opportunities to either tie the game or take a shot at the lead in the final two minutes.
Trailing 35-33 with 67 seconds remaining, Allison McCullough was sent to the charity stripe for a pair of free throws. The senior forward sank her first, but the second bounced off.
Just eight seconds later after a SF rebound on the missed freebie, a walk was called on Cherissa Vinson. McCullough prepared to take the ball out but never got it in play as a five-second violation flipped the momentum back in the Devilettes’ favor.
“We had the ball right beside our bench with two timeouts and we got called for a five-second violation,” Union City girls’ coach Jeff Chandler said. “That’s a poor job of knowing how many timeouts we have by both me and my players.
“Overall, I thought our effort was better. We’ve improved quite a bit since the beginning of the year and our young players are really coming along at this juncture in the season and being competitive. We just need to get a few breaks to go our way late in these close games.”
One last opportunity came for the Lady Twisters when McCullough intercepted a South Fulton pass attempt with under 20 seconds remaining.
UC passed the ball around, looking for an open shot or a way to drive to the basket, but freshman Shenisha Huff was ultimately called for a walk with two seconds left in the game.
In the nightcap, No. 1-ranked Union City opened the game with a 13-0 run and never looked back en route to a 71-47 romp against the Devils. With the latest triumph, the Tornadoes improve to 21-0 (with a 13 of those wins in district action) on the season.
Their streak of consecutive regular-season District 14A victories is now at 35 games.
Both schools return to action Tuesday night. SF hosts Greenfield, while UC travels to Bradford.
South Fulton 35, UC 34 (G)
The Lady Twisters battled back from seven down to give SF a run for its money on homecoming night.
Down 31-24 late in the third, McCullough and Whitney Smith each drained a 3-pointer to help pull UC ultimately to within a pair at 35-33.
On the evening, Union City (6-14, 2-11) knocked down seven trifectas with just three 2-point buckets. South Fulton (8-12, 7-6) mustered a lone trey from Vinson.
Senior Chelsea Cox posted a game-high dozen for the Devilettes in the victory with Vinson responsible for an additional nine markers. Brooke Kane pitched in six for SF.
McCullough was the leading lady for the Lady Tornadoes with nine during the defeat. Whitney Smith and Micah Warford offered six points each for UC.
UC 71, South Fulton 47 (B)
MJ Brown fired off Union City’s first 11 points in his team’s lopsided win against South Fulton.
UC boys’ coach Shane Sisco pulled each of his seven seniors — Brown included — in the second half in favor of his backups during the victory.
“Those guys practice, too,” Sisco said of his reserves. “Anytime we can get them on the court and let them have a hand in a victory, it builds their confidence in their ability and my confidence in them, as well.”
Tyler Steward-Crume fared best among UC’s backups with 13 off the bench.
Brown was the team leader in points scored with 17 while Pat Polk and Tony Wilkins scored 11 and 10, respectively.
Meanwhile, SF boys’ coach Keith Frazier was satisfied that his team did accomplish some goals they had set coming into the game against the state’s top-ranked team.
“We had three goals coming in and we accomplished each of them,” Frazier said after the loss. “One goal was to get the ball down the court by our fifth possession, the second goal was to hold Union City to fewer than 20 points in the first quarter and the third was to make them beat us from outside the arc.”
In all, the Twisters sank 17 3-pointers in the team’s most recent triumph.
During the loss, South Fulton (1-19, 1-12) was led by David Shepherd (17 points) with teammate Hunter Harris a contributor of 15 markers.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.