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UC fears rear head; girls have easy night

UC fears rear head; girls have easy night
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Its well-noted shortcomings finally caught up with Union City Tuesday night.
The Tornadoes’ season-long poor free throw shooting and inconsistent offense were the major culprits in a 69-57 loss to visiting Humboldt that snapped UC’s five-game winning streak.
More importantly, the setback dropped the Twisters into a first-place tie with reigning Class 1A state champion Lake County in the updated District 14A standings. Technically, Union City (14-7, 9-2) holds a tie-breaker advantage by virtue of an earlier victory over the Falcons (11-7, 9-2).
The two teams will meet again in Tiptonville Tuesday.
UC, which had built a league-leading resume despite shooting just 53 percent from the foul line for the year before losing to Humboldt for a second time this season, made exactly half (15-of-30) of its charity tosses on Tuesday.
Additionally, the Tornadoes shot poorly from the field during critical junctures, including 2-of-17 from 3-point range.
While acknowledging those obvious factors, Shane Sisco delved even deeper into the reasoning for his team’s loss.
“The thing that had allowed us to make up for the poor free throw shooting and our up-and-down offense was our defense, and we absolutely did not play any tonight,” the disappointed Union City head coach said afterward.
All was not lost, however, as the streaking Lady Tornadoes won for the fifth straight outing in a 58-29 romp.
UC (12-8, 9-2) scored the game’s first eight points and never looked back.
Sophomore Amber Fair continued her stellar play, outscoring the entire Viking team in the first half (18-8) and nearly doing so for the game while finishing with 26 points. Fair made four 3-pointers and took a seat with the remainder of the Twister starters midway though the fourth period with the game well in hand.
“Since Christmas, we’ve been doing a lot better job rebounding and taking care of the basketball,” Union City skipper Eddie Suiter said of his team’s 5-1 record since the calendar turned to 2012.
The Union City teams will play at home again on Friday, hosting Greenfield in 14A play.
Humboldt 69, UC 57 (B)
The Tornadoes — who played without starting point guard Jamie Hyde (sprained ankle) — did not make a field goal for over five minutes from late in the third quarter to the 4:48 mark of the fourth period.
That telling stretch for the Purple and Gold included a handful of turnovers as well as several missed shots and three errant free throws.
H’boldt (12-9, 7-4), meanwhile, which had led by as many as seven points twice in the third stanza before falling behind 45-44 late on a LaMonte Dickerson foul shot, took a 47-45 lead into the stretch run.
The Vikings then used a 12-3 flurry in the first 41⁄2 minutes of the final frame that was capped by a 3-pointer by Antonio Brooks and two free throws by Chris McLilly to build a 59-48 advantage.
Peyton Mosley had UC’s only field goal during that spurt and was essentially the locals’ lone semblance of consistent offense in the contest with a game-high 25 points in the post.
The Twisters never seriously threatened and were no closer than seven the rest of the way.
“I guess the most disappointing thing for me was that it was such a big district game and I felt like we played with very little emotion and intensity,” Sisco added. “Peyton (Mosley) played awfully well and tried to carry us, but we got virtually nothing from anybody else.”
Brooks led three Humboldt players with 12 or more points with 15.
UC 55, Humboldt 28 (G)
The Lady Tornadoes held a double digit advantage before the game was a little more than four minutes old and were up by 20 (26-6) with just under three minutes left in the first half following a Fair stickback.
Jackie Hudson had 10 of her 15 markers in the third period as the lead grew to as many as 27.
The last of Fair’s treys with 4:13 to play signaled the end of playing time for UC’s starters and widened the gap to 50-20.
The outcome was the same, but far more comfortable than the first time the two played when the Lady Twisters escaped with a 53-49 decision.
“The big reason was that we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds at their place, and tonight, we didn’t after the first quarter,” Suiter explained. “We took better shots tonight than we played before, and we obviously made a better percentage.
“I was real pleased that we’d only given up eight points in the first half, but our girls were still disappointed and felt they could do better in keeping them off the offensive glass.”
Humboldt fell to 5-15 overall, 3-8 in district play.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 1.25.12

 

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