Shuffled UC boys make noise

Shuffled UC boys make noise
Shuffled UC boys make noise

Union City’s Ashton Pirtle dribbles during the Lady Twisters’ win on Tuesday evening.
The sound system may not have been working, but there was plenty of noise being made inside Union City’s gym on Tuesday evening.
In the boys’ game, much of the chatter concerned the Twisters’ starting lineup — which featured just two regulars — in the locals’ 66-58 triumph over District 14A foe Halls.
“In years past, our calling card has been heart,” Union City boys’ coach Shane Sisco said while explaining his decision to start the combination of Chris Boucher, Jamie Hyde, Peyton Mosley, LaMonte Dickerson and Travis Rutland and opt to utilize seniors Antonio Cox, LaMarcus Allen, Russ Smith and Tyler Steward as reserves. “We’ve beaten teams that were more athletic because we played harder for a full 32 minutes.
“I don’t know if we’ve had a game this season, yet, where I feel like we have put our best foot forward in terms of effort for the entire game. I felt like shaking up the lineup might inspire our effort.”
That said, Sisco did think Tuesday’s offering against Halls was a step in the right direction in certain aspects of the game.
“Tonight, the effort was much better,” Sisco said. “We had players diving on the floor (after the basketball) and going after rebounds aggressively. That’s a couple of things that should come natural and shouldn’t requiring coaching.”
In the opener, a victory did come natural for the UC girls — thanks in large part to their offensive output and defensive prowess in a 55-16 rout of the overwhelmed Lady Tigers.
UC returns to action on Friday in its next-to-last home twinbill of the regular season — a doubleheader with Bradford.
Friday’s game will be the first in the second half of the 14-game district schedule for both Union City teams.
After Tuesday’s contest, the Twister boys are 8-13 (5-2 in 14A). The Union City girls are 9-8 on the campaign with a like 5-2 league worksheet.
UC 66, Halls 58 (B)
The Twisters trailed for nearly all of the first quarter against the Tigers (2-8, 1-5).
Finally, with 6:04 remaining in the second period, Jamie Hyde bottomed a 3-pointer to pull the locals to within four points (18-14). Then, Antonio Cox, who had come into the game along with Crume with about a minute left in the opening canto, drove down for an easy layup after a Hyde tip to make it a two-point game.
Halls’ Emmit Henning drained a deuce to put the visitors up by four for a moment, but Russ Smith made back-to-back baskets to knot the game at 20-all.
Shortly thereafter, Allen busted a trey to put the Twisters ahead 23-20.
Altogether, with Smith’s buckets and Allen’s trey factored in with seven more markers, Union City closed the first half on a 14-2 run. At halftime, Union City was ahead 30-22.
The Tigers were able to cut the deficit to four points on two occasions in the second half. The most noteworthy of those two comebacks was with 3:02 remaining in the game after a Henning layup made the score 54-50.
However, Cox — who finished with a team-best 17 markers — swished a 3-pointer on the next trip down the floor and followed with a pair of free throws to stretch UC’s lead back out to nine markers.
For the game, Steward also hit in twin figures with 15 points, while Smith totaled nine and Allen had eight.
Henning totaled a game-high 26, while Tyler Reed added 17 for Halls.
UC 55, Halls 16 (G)
The Lady Twisters never gave their Lauderdale County opposition a chance.
Union City dominated the Lady Tigers (1-10, 0-6) from the opening tip — leading 17-5 after one quarter and 38-11 at intermission.
In the second half, UC limited Halls to just five points.
“We had a couple goals in the second half and I feel like we accomplished them,” Lady Twisters’ coach Eddie Suiter said. “One was to limit them to under two offensive rebounds. We only allowed one. The other was to only take a shot on an easy lay-up or a post feed.”
Jackie Hudson was fed many times inside with a team-best 21 points for the Lady Twisters, while fellow post player Amber Fair accounted for 16.
Kierra Davis, who left the game in the fourth quarter with what was believed to be a twisted ankle, was a bucket shy of twin figures with eight.
Union City was without the services of Shenisha Huff and Brittany Parker — both out with what Suiter termed a “stomach bug.”
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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