UC truly closer to Lake Co.

UC truly closer to Lake Co.
UC truly closer to Lake Co.
TRENTON — The scoreboard displayed a 19-point margin, but it wasn’t an accurate representation of how close the District 14A Tournament girls’ title game was.
Though Union City lost 53-34 to No. 1 Lake County on Saturday, it’s the honest-to-goodness truth that the contest was much tighter.
The Lady Twisters (15-13) were within single digits for nearly all of the first half and the locals — who lost both regular season meetings between the teams by 31 tallies — battled back to draw within six points at the beginning of the fourth period after LC had stretched its lead to as many as 16 early in the third quarter.
“Our defense and how well we rebounded after the first three or four minutes kept us in the game,” second-year Union City skipper Eddie Suiter said.
Union City, which hosts Big Sandy on Thursday in the Region 7A Tournament, trailed 23-11 at intermission, but the locals gritted their teeth and toughened up to make a game out of it.
“It looked like we were ready to give up at halftime,” Suiter said. “I thought the first possession of the second half really set a good pace for us. We were patient and waited to get what we wanted offensively.
“It was a good possession to start the half and we crept back into the game but, give Lake County credit, they hit free throws down the stretch to put us away and that’s what championship teams do.”
All totaled, the Lady Falcons (28-3) bottomed 11 of their 12 charity tosses in the final 2:20 as Union City — which was down by nine at that point — attempted to foul for possession with the hope that LC would miss a few freebies and give the locals an opening.
But it didn’t happen and Union City was only able to get four free throws of its own the rest of the way.
Scoring began slowly for both teams on Saturday evening. It took two minutes before either squad got on the scoreboard.
With 5:57 remaining in the opening canto, Lake County’s T.T. Flowers bottomed one of two free throws for the contest’s first point.
Moments later, Lady Twister Kierra Davis drove down for a lay-up to gave her team its only lead of the game.
From there, Lake County closed the quarter with a 7-4 besting of UC to lead 8-6 after a period.
In the second canto, LC continued to pour it on, starting the canto on a 12-3 run. The lone bright spot for the Lady Twisters during said span was a 3-pointer from Shakeyvia Gauldin.
Near the middle of the Lady Falcons’ scoring spurt, things went from bad to worse for Union City as Shenisha Huff was whistled for her third foul and confined to the bench for the final 3:54 of the first half.
“We went into panic mode,” Suiter said when talking about that point in the game. “We were already down seven when Nisha got her third foul. We panicked even more then and took a couple 3’s that we should not have.”
After halftime, Lake County bottomed a pair of trifectas to lead 29-13 with 4:02 left in the third period.
Then, UC suddenly woke up with an 11-0 run that began with an Amber Fair deuce and ended moments into the fourth quarter when Kierra Davis hit a pair of free throws to make the count 30-24 in favor of the Lady Falcons.
Fair also knocked down a trey during the aforementioned spurt as did Huff.
When Union City’s rally ended, LC piled on 10 consecutive points to go back ahead by 16 (40-24), but the locals weren’t through just yet.
The Lady Twisters put together a 7-0 rally to cut Lake County’s lead to nine with just over three minutes left to play.
Fair was the lone Union City lady to hit in twin figures with 11 points, while Davis totaled eight.
Lady Falcon Carnation Hart had a game-high 19 points, while T.T. Flowers added 11.
Hart powered LC through the second half with 15 of her points after intermission.
Meanwhile, Flowers had nine tallies prior to the halftime break.
After the game, Huff was named to the All-District 14A Academic team, while Jackie Hudson was selected to the All-District squad. South Fulton had senior Paxton Sisson on the academic glitter unit, while Taleeah Cross was an All-District 14A selection.
Lake County hosts McKenzie on Thursday night in the first round of the regional tournament.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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