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UC boys eventually join girls in sweep

UC boys eventually join girls in sweep

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
On the fast track to repeat a blowout victory recorded by their girl counterparts, the Union City boys hit a speed bump.
It didn’t keep the Golden Tornadoes from arriving at their desired destination, though.
UC watched most of a 20-point lead dissipate in the second half before hanging on for a 66-57 victory over Bradford Tuesday night.
There were no such anxious moments in the opener as the Lady Twisters opened the District 14A portion of their schedule with a 65-39 romp over the Red Devil girls.
Union City is now 4-2 overall in girls’ play and 3-2 on the boys’ side after handing Bradford its first loss in five games in the nightcap.
The Lady Tornadoes scored the game’s first 14 points and didn’t surrender a field goal for nine minutes in winning a runaway decision.
Jackie Hudson led a trio of double-digit scorers with 17 points with Tamara Nettles pitching in 14 and Tory Reedy finishing with 13.
In Game 2, the Twisters were seemingly on a similar path — up big in the third quarter — before Bradford shaved that difference to 57-54 with just under three minutes to go.
But Union City hit 7-of-9 free throws while holding the Red Devils without a single field goal during that time to hang on behind a 20-point performance from Malik Stockdale.
The Tornadoes play host to Lake County on Friday night.
UC 65, Bradford 39 (G)
Good man defense early allowed the UC girls to build their big cushion with Reedy’s 3-pointer opening a 12-0 advantage at 2:30 of the first period before a Nettles bucket in the paint capped the opening surge.
“I felt like we played pretty well defensively,” Lady Twister head coach Eddie Suiter said afterward. “We did a good job of not getting beat off the dribble and we didn’t give up a lot of second chances.”
The difference was many as 27 points (35-8) just before the break after a Raven Fair hoop.
The outcome was never seriously in doubt after the intermission either, as Bradford got no closer than 18.
Back-to-back Kristian Davis treys halfway through the final stanza accounted for the biggest margin — 62-30.
“It’s good to get off to a good start in the district and home games in the league are especially important because you don’t want to put yourself in the position of having to play catch-up on the road,” Suiter added.
UC 66, Bradford 57 (B)
Union City used a 26-11 second-quarter burst to take a commanding 39-20 lead at the half.
The Twisters had a run of 12 unanswered points in that frame, a Donte Simpson old-fashioned 3-point play and two free throws by Hyde capping the flurry. Hyde’s trifecta and a bucket by Simpson at the halftime buzzer led to the aforementioned big advantage at the break.
Led by Tyler McCartney, the Red Devils gradually cut into UC’s cushion, getting within 48-39 heading into the stretch run and as close as 57-54 with 2:58 showing after Glenn Cooper drained a trey.
But Khiry Lewis then sank his only field goal of the contest, Simpson hit two free throws and Stockdale four in a row from the stripe to stave off the Red Devils in the end.
“When it got to a 20-point lead, we had four or five bad possessions where we took poor shots, and that led to opportunities for them on the their end,” Union City head coach Shane Sisco said, explaining his team’s second-half effort that allowed Bradford back into the contest. “We didn’t make a lot of shots in the first half either, but we had 11 offensive rebounds and we played with great intensity on the defensive end.
“One of the biggest things is that we talked in the preseason about how much we’d worked offensively and, at least in the first few games, it certainly doesn’t look like it. I think it’s psychological, because in the summer and fall, we were very good. Now we’re struggling when we turn the lights on.
“We just have to take what we did in the first half and build on it, and what we did in the second half and make improvements.”
The Tornadoes shot just 20-of-55 (36.3 percent) from the field, but were saved partly by the fact that they committed just seven turnovers.
Simpson and Hyde each finished with a dozen points, while Marcus DeBerry gave UC a fourth player to hit twin digits with 10 markers.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 11.28.12

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