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Twin UC losses will leave scars in multiple ways

Twin UC losses will leave scars in multiple ways
Twin UC losses will leave scars in multiple ways

Union City’s K.J. Brooks looks for a way out during the Tornadoes’ loss on Tuesday evening.
Humboldt added insult to injury.
Both were downright ugly.
In the aftermath of two Viking routs of Union City — 75-50 in the girls’ game and 82-56 in the boys’ — the talk afterward was divided between those two blowouts and a grotesque injury suffered by Lady Tornado junior guard Brittney Mitchell in the girls’ game.
Mitchell was fouled hard on a play under the goal with a little over six minutes remaining and reportedly suffered a broken fibula in her right leg as well as a dislocated ankle. She was taken by ambulance from the gym and later airlifted to a Jackson hospital.
Mitchell was to undergo surgery today, according to head coach Jeff Chandler, who said his player was informed by a doctor that her season was over.
Mitchell’s unsightly injury resulted in a delay of play for nearly a half-hour, and prompted several emotional outbursts from Union City players as well as her distraught mother, Vicki, who had to be restrained repeatedly by friends after coming onto the floor.
The girls’ game final result was of far-less importance afterward, though UC was beaten soundly.
Athletic, quick and eager to play at the same fast pace that the Lady Tornadoes desired, Humboldt dictated tempo with its pressure and forced numerous Union City turnovers and errant makeable shots.
In the nightcap, the Twisters saw their 40-game District 14A winning streak ended by a big and talented Viking team that was the locals’ most-serious rival on the way to their second Class 1A state championship in three seasons last year.
Atrocious shooting from beyond the 3-point line (4-of-38) was UC’s major undoing, though H’boldt’s superior athleticism was a factor, too.
The Tornado teams will take a short Thanksgiving break as both play in the Westview Thanksgiving Classic. The UC girls will face USJ at 2:30 on Friday, while the boys battle Dyer County at 8:30 on Saturday.
Humboldt 75, UC 50 (G)
The Lady Vikings (3-0, 1-0) bolted to a 10-2 lead and never looked back.
A rushed UC bunch that struggled against Humboldt’s pressure, managed just three field goals in the first quarter and four more in the second period while falling behind by as much as 40-16 after a run of 12 unanswered points by the visitors.
A run of nine straight markers finished by a Micah Warford bucket that briefly drew the Tornado girls within 28-16 was Union City’s only bright spot.
UC (2-1, 0-1) gradually cut into a 17-point (42-25) halftime deficit in the third period, getting as close as 48-36 following a Doreal Strayhorn bucket.
Humboldt never panicked, though, stretching the difference to 55-38 at the third quarter horn and leading by as many as 29 points late. It was 60-38 when Mitchell’s injury occurred.
Assistant coach Christina Grimm said Union City’s struggles were multiple.
“They came out aggressive and we let the pressure get to us,” the Lady Tornado aide said. “We got into some foul trouble that forced us to alter our rotation, and we simply let them dictate how we handled the ball and our confidence offensively.”
Labrica Ward was the only UC player to score in double figures, netting 10. The Lady Tornadoes were assessed three technical fouls in the often roughly-played game — one on head coach Jeff Chandler, another on Ward and the third on the team’s bench.
Humboldt 82, UC 56 (B)
Though outsized and outclassed athletically, the Twisters would’ve had a chance had they shot a remotely decent percentage from the outside.
In two previous games, UC had made 37 percent of its attempts from beyond the arc. Tuesday, only B.J. Marshall made a 3-pointer during the Tornadoes’ horrific shooting effort.
“If we make just 33 percent, that’s less than we made the first two games, but still 24 more points and that’s essentially an even game,” Union City head coach Shane Sisco said. “I think it was one of those things that just snowballed.
“We had good looks at the basket. Only three or four of our shots were contested. But you’re going to struggle against anybody when you shoot 4-of-38.”
Humboldt (3-0, 1-0) by comparison, made 64 percent (37-of-58) of its field goal tries in all.
The Vikings dominated around the basket, yet left the door open for UC to hang around and have a legitimate chance until midway through the third stanza with a whopping 31 turnovers.
Union City (1-2, 0-1) never led in the contest, but did get within one point on three occasions in the second quarter, the first time on a Tyler Steward-Crume bucket, and then a K.J. Brooks goal at 19-18.
The locals went cold from the field late in the quarter, with only a pair of Marshall treys keeping them within striking distance at 36-28 at the intermission.
Humboldt scored the first 11 points of the second half, while UC didn’t tally until Marshall canned a three-ball with almost five minutes gone.
The senior tandem of Ryne Simpson (19) and Marshall (18) combined for 37 points and represented Union City’s only double-figure scorers.
Teven Crayton led a balanced Humboldt attack with 16.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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