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Home sweet for Twisters; UC girls sour vs. Bradford

Home sweet for Twisters; UC girls sour vs. Bradford
Home sweet for Twisters; UC girls sour vs. Bradford

Union City’s K.J. Brooks keeps his hand up while defending during the Twisters’ win on Monday evening.
Home is where the heart is.
Shane Sisco hopes it’s where the wins are, too.
Playing in its own gym for just the second time in 18 games, the Union City boys kicked off the second half of the 2009-10 season with an 84-40 romp over Bradford Monday night.
The lopsided victory sets up a District 14A home showdown with Lake County Friday that could propel the Tornadoes into a three-way tie for the league lead with another triumph.
“Hopefully, playing eight of our next 12 games at home will be an advantage of us,” UC’s Sisco said after his club improved to 10-8 overall and 4-1 in 14A with a convincing rout of the Red Devils.
The familiar surroundings did not help the UC girls, who continued their spotty play and suffered a 52-42 loss in the opener.
The Lady Tornadoes (6-11, 1-4) will play again tonight at home against Henry County in a girls-only game set to begin at 6:30. A junior varsity contest will tip off at 5.
Friday’s games with visiting Lake County will also include Hall of Honors ceremonies, during which Antawn Coby and Colton Speed will be inducted into the illustrious Union City High School fraternity between games.
UC 84, Bradford 40 (B)
The Tornadoes overwhelmed Bradford (3-11, 2-3) from the opening tip, forcing more than 30 turnovers in all with just basic halfcourt pressure and holding the visitors to just a single first-quarter field goal.
Peyton Mosley scored the game’s first four points and 12 of his 14 in the opening half, when Union City built a lead as big as 25 points and carried a commanding 44-21 advantage into the locker room.
It was 66-31 after three quarters and every Twister player saw extensive action in the final period when the clock ran continuously via the TSSAA’s 35-point mercy rule.
“Our biggest problem, to date, has been inconsistency,” continued Sisco, whose club has lost five games by 10 points or fewer. ‘We’ve played a difficult schedule to this point, and I hope that prepares us for what’s in front of us.
“Friday is a big, big game for us. Lake County is a big, athletic team, but we’ve proven we’re capable of being a good basketball team, too. Our 10 wins, though, have come against teams we should beat. In our eight losses, we’ve had chances but we killed ourselves with inconsistent play at some time in those games.”
Josh Battee tallied a game-high 16 points to pace Union City against Bradford, while LaMarcus Allen gave the Tornadoes three players in double figures with 13 markers.
UC already holds one victory over Lake County this season, edging the Falcons 67-65 for third place in the TimePiece Roundball Classic at Graves County on Dec. 22.
Bradford 52, UC 42 (G)
The Lady Tornadoes never led in Monday’s first game and ended up shooting just 36 percent for the game in falling for the fifth time in their last six outings.
Union City, which made just three first-quarter field goals and trailed 16-7 after the first eight minutes, got as close as 23-20 late in the opening half when Shenisha Huff nailed a 3-pointer.
Whitney Smith’s trey at 5:15 of the third period briefly shaved the difference to 28-27, but the Lady Red Devils scored 10 of the next 14 points — capped by a Molly Wallsmith 3-pointer just before the buzzer — to build Bradford’s lead back to 38-31.
The Twister girls never got closer than seven the rest of the way as the visitors made 12-of-14 free throws in the fourth period to keep the locals in the rear.
“I thought we were very careless at the beginning of the game, and then we just didn’t make any shots,” Union City head coach Eddie Suiter said afterward. “The biggest frustrating thing was that we played poorly during stretches, and then I’d look up and see we were still just down six or seven points and still had a chance.
“We just have to play with more purpose for longer stretches.”
Micah Warford led the Lady Tornadoes with 17 points, three more than teammate Huff.
Wallsmith, a Bethel University signee, totaled a game-high 20 points.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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