|Final score aside, UC not up to par |
|Shane Sisco did not sound like a coach whose team had just won its 22nd game without a loss this season. |
“I’m really disappointed. I felt like this is the first game this year where we didn’t play hard,” the Union City boys’ skipper said after his No. 1-ranked Tornadoes had struggled to get by Bradford 64-55 Tuesday night.
“That’s been a trademark of this team, that they play hard on both ends of the court. We had two stretches, one in the second quarter and another in the third, where we put forth the type of effort we usually do. Other than that, I was disappointed.”
Despite winning their 36th straight District 14A game over a span of three seasons, the Twisters were indeed anything but impressive.
Union City made just 22 percent (6-of-29) from 3-point range.
The Purple and Gold was on the wrong end of a huge foul discrepancy, too, Bradford going 17-of-27 from the free throw line after the Tornadoes were whistled for 25 fouls. The Twisters, though, hit just 4-of-7 charities after Bradford was called for 10 infractions.
UC’s nightcap win did salvage a split of the district doubleheader after the Bradford girls broke open a relatively tight game in the fourth quarter of the opener on their way to a 68-39 triumph over the Lady Tornadoes.
Down just 44-34 heading into the final frame, Union City was outscored 24-5 over the last eight minutes to fall to 6-15 overall and 2-12 in 14A play.
The Tornado teams will play a pair of home games this weekend, celebrating homecoming on Friday against Greenfield, then entertaining county-rival Obion Central on Saturday.
UC 64, Bradford 55 (B)
The Twisters (22-0, 14-0) actually trailed by as many as eight, 16-8, in the first period and didn’t take the lead for good until Tony Wilkins scored as part of a 12-2 flurry to open the second quarter. UC’s spurt highlighted a 20-6 overall flurry in the game’s second eight minutes.
The locals led by as many as nine (32-23) just before halftime after buckets by MJ Brown and Ryne Simpson and by 11 just after the break, but saw the Red Devils close to within 42-38 before the Tornadoes again spurted near the end of the third stanza.
Union City’s biggest lead came midway through the stretch run when a Simpson 3-pointer and a deuce by Wilkins opened the gap to 58-45. Bradford got no closer than the final tally the rest of the way.
The Twisters did force 23 Bradford turnovers.
Simpson and Brown had 18 points apiece and Wilkins added 17 to lead the victors’ in scoring.
Bradford 68, UC 39 (G)
Union City never led in Game 1 and saw any comeback hopes thwarted by a woeful fourth quarter in which it did not make a field goal and missed nine of 14 free throws.
Danielle Proudfit, a Martin Methodist College signee, lit up the Lady Tornadoes for 32 points, 21 of those coming in the second half.
A 14-1 Bradford run in the second period opened a comfortable 27-11 Lady Red Devil lead, and the host team had doubled UC early in the second half (40-20) before the Twister girls put together their best stretch of the night.
Allison McCullough banked in a long trifecta to key Union City’s surge that halved its deficit to 10 points with a quarter still to play.
Missed free throws, however, helped stall any Lady Tornado comeback hopes, and Bradford gradually pulled away and put the game on ice.
Doreal Strayhorn had 10 points and McCullough eight to top UC’s scoring list.