One point just enough to finish off Dresden
Posted: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:00 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
Tommy Dilday summed up Dresden’s final basketball game of the 2011-12 season in one sentence.
“That’s a tough way to lose.”
Indeed it was.
After spending virtually the entire game climbing back from a double-digit deficit, Dresden was done in by a free throw with five seconds to play in a 47-46 loss to Union City Friday night on its home floor.
UC’s Tre Lewis hit a free throw with 0:05.2 remaining in the game for the decisive point.
The loss came in the quarterfinal round of the Region 7A Tournament, bringing sudden end to the No. 9-ranked Lions’ season.
Union City moved on to the semifinal round Monday against defending state champion Lake County at Trenton.
“We dug ourselves a hole in the first half by not executing our game plan on defense,” Dilday said. “We missed layups and free throws, but defensively, we really missed some assignments that we’d worked all week on.
“In the second half, we got it done, and it worked out for us to get back in the game.”
After scoring 32 points in the first half, UC could barely find the basket in the second half with just eight points in the third quarter and only seven in the fourth.
Peyton Mosley scored twice inside to help keep the Twisters afloat in the third as Dresden quickly began to catch up. Three-pointers from Gatlin Hatchel and Brock Dilday — the trey from Dilday accounting for Dresden’s only points off the bench — sliced the difference to 34-29 at 4:21.
Dresden’s strategy of going inside to strong post player Tyler McPeak also paid off as he had seven of his 13 points in the period, which ended with the Lions behind only 40-36
Ahead only twice in the game, with both leads coming before the game was two minutes old, the Lions fought back to finally tie it at 42-all as Joseph Sipes followed a 3-point play with a 3-point shot at 3:25.
“That’s two seniors we count on, and both played extremely well,” Dilday said of Sipes and McPeak. “We have three out there (Hatchel) who are all in on everything we do. They couldn’t care less about stats. They just play all out in everything they do, and we’re going to miss them. It’s tough to go out like that and to lose a great group of seniors.”
Lewis connected at the line on the other end for a 43-42 UC lead with 3:10. Then, after a turnover resulted in Hatchel’s picking up his fifth foul, Mosley made perhaps the play of the game when he pulled down an offensive rebound off Malik Stockdale’s miss and put back a shot for a 45-42 lead at 2:18.
UC then missed four times in six tries at the line, including two bonus front ends, and led just 46-44 with 31 seconds left. Sipes got off a 6-footer from the left baseline with 10 seconds remaining to tie it again, and Austin Daniel’s foul five ticks later put Lewis on the line for two shots.
“We ran one of our out-of-bounds plays, and it was actually the first time we’ve run it in a game this year,” Dilday said of the play to set up Sipes’ tying basket. “We work on it every day, but it was the first time we’d had a chance to run it. It came open, and we didn’t get the ball cleanly to Joseph (Sipes), but he got up a good shot to tie the game for us.”
Lewis hit the second, and then a 30-foot heave at the buzzer for Dresden was off the mark, preserving the win.
UC got points from six different players in the opening period, including four points from Lamonte Dickerson in the 9-0 run that put the Twisters ahead 14-5 at 2:33. All but Marcus DeBerry’s 3-pointer, which answered Sipes’ game-opening trey, and Lewis’ free throw were field goals from six feet and in.
Union City then hit four straight freebies and two close-range baskets in an 8-0 spurt that had the Twisters up by its largest margin of 13 at 32-19 with 1:14 to play in the half.
Sipes had 17 points to lead all players, while Mosley scored 16 for Union City.
McPeak, Hatchel and Sipes made up the squad’s senior class. Published in The WCP 2.28.12