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Falcons soar in OT to drop Twisters into tie atop 14A

Falcons soar in OT to drop Twisters into tie atop 14A
Union City now has company atop the District 14A standings.
Ninth-ranked Lake County outscored the No. 5 Tornadoes 13-4 in overtime and dropped them into a first-place tie with Humboldt after beating UC 84-75 Tuesday night in Tiptonville.
The loss, which also snapped a seven-game winning streak, left the Twisters (16-9, 10-2) and No. 2 H’boldt (16-6, 10-2) deadlocked for the top spot in 14A with just two league games to play before the postseason begins.
LC (18-9, 9-3) is now a game back in third place after beating Union City for the first time in three meetings this season.
Should UC and Humboldt both win its remaining district games, a coin flip will decide the No. 1 seed in the 14A tournament. That flip will actually happen this morning in a meeting of league coaches to determine the particulars of the event.
After erasing an eight-point deficit in the final 48 seconds and forcing the extra session on Rakim Gaston’s tip-in at the regulation buzzer, the Tornadoes finally fell victim to their own inability to stop LC’s dribble penetration and the Falcons’ superior rebounding.
“We had ourselves in a good position as far as winning the district after playing well for a good stretch, but then we just failed to execute the basic fundamentals,” UC head coach Shane Sisco said of his team’s hard-fought loss.
“We’d talked about the penetration and rebounding specifically for several days and worked on it extensively. We just didn’t get the job done.”
Lake County ended up out-rebounding the locals 52-39, and the Twisters made just 7-of-33 3-point shots as key factors in their demise.
Union City led by as much as 25-14 in the first half behind eight quick points from K.J. Brooks and 12 more over the first two frames from Gaston, who finished with a career-high 22.
A 17-6 Falcon burst before intermission, though, left the count deadlocked at 31 at the break.
LC pulled out to a 53-46 lead in the third stanza and expanded that to 10 early in the fourth. Gaston’s third-chance follow shot sent the contest in OT, though, after the host team had committed a critical turnover at the five-second mark.
Josh Battee had 15 points and Tyler Steward 13 to give Union City three players in double digits.
Patrick Robertson matched Gaston’s 22-point outing for Lake County, which had three players score 20 or more.
Lake Co. 64, UC 23 (G)
The fifth-ranked Lady Falcons (23-3, 11-1) maintained their stranglehold on the District 14A lead with a convincing triumph over the struggling UC girls.
Union City was  missing head coach Eddie Suiter as he served the first of a state-mandated two-game suspension after being ejected the team’s last outing vs. Humboldt.
The Lady Twisters (8-17, 3-9) were guilty of five more turnovers (28) than they had points and made just 24 percent of their shots in losing for the seventh time in their last nine games.
Just four Union City players scored in the contest with Shenisha Huff tallying a team-high 14 markers as the only one with more than four.
LC scored the game’s first seven points and never looked back.
In contrast, UC didn’t make its first basket until nearly seven minutes were gone in the opening quarter.
Already up 16-5 at the first-quarter horn, Lake County got three consecutive 3-pointers from Mariah Matthews — who made five from beyond the arc in the first half alone — to take a commanding 35-12 at the half.
The outcome was never in doubt afterward.
Union City will play a makeup game at home vs. Greenfield on Thursday, then hosts Halls Friday night.

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