By KEVIN WEAKS
Eddie Suiter thinks it’s time for people to admit that his Union City girls’ team is actually good.
Shane Sisco, meanwhile, simply wants his Golden Tornadoes to stop being bad.
UC managed a split at Westview Friday night, the girls overcoming spotty offensive play with another solid defensive outing for a 37-35 win and then the boys wilting down the stretch in a 63-47 setback.
The Union City boys then made a quick turnaround on Saturday afternoon and lost to Olive Branch, Miss., in the Linx Holiday Classic at Memphis Lausanne.
Both Twister teams will be in holiday tournament action later this week.
The girls will play in the Hickman County Above The Rim Christmas Invitational, opening against Ensworth 4 p.m. Thursday.
Union City’s boys will play in the Murray Bank Laker Classic at Calloway County, Ky., against Centennial, Ohio, 4:15 p.m. Thursday.
Both events, set for Thursday-Saturday, feature an eight-team, mirrored bracket and guarantees all entrants eight games.
The Lady Twisters will carry an 11-2 record to Centerville, while the boys are 9-4 heading to Murray.
UC 37, Westview 35 (G)
The Lady Tornadoes limited Westview to just 12 made field goals for the game, none of those 3-pointers, for their ninth straight win.
“I’m getting tired of people saying they have off-nights shooting against us,” Suiter said. “At some point, you’re going to have to acknowledge that these girls are playing hard and contesting shots.”
Teddy Vincent scored a game-high 14 points for Westview, while UC held Kaley Leyhue to eight points (six in the first half) and Tiffany Rechis to four points.
“If we would’ve put Jackie (Hudson) on her, she not have had a point all night,” Suiter said of his team’s defense on Leyhue. “That’s how good an on-ball defender Jackie is.”
The Lady Chargers did not hit a 3-pointer.
Except for brief deficits of 2-0 and 35-34, Union City led the entire game but did not clinch the win until making two defensive stops in the final seven seconds.
Westview managed to call a timeout before the buzzer, Hudson nearly forcing a turnover on the play, and then Tory Reedy’s tight pressure on Leyhue in the left corner denied the Charger player from getting off a good shot as time expired.
“We talked about being overly aggressive and not fouling a 3-point shooter,” Suiter said of the strategy late, his team with three fouls to give at that point. “But, we never had to because they never got the ball up to the 3-point line.”
Hudson scored 12 points for UC, which hit a pair of triples among its 15 total field goals.
Free throw shooting kept Westview close, the Lady Chargers hitting 11-of-12 and Union City managing just 5-of-12.
UC got the ball inside often early in the game, going ahead 22-10 early in the second on baskets by Hudson and Tamara Nettles.
But then Westview became more active in its 1-3-1, closing the lane while also extending its perimeter players into a soft zone, forcing several bad passes. UC scored 15 points the rest of the way and led 26-20 at the half and 31-29 after three periods.
Vincent made big baskets as Westview closed the gap. She went between two defenders late in third, took a give-and-go to the basket early in the fourth and finally put her team ahead on a strong post-up with 2:05 to play in the game.
Westview 63, UC 47 (B)
The Twisters were blown away by a 26-4 Westview run that turned a game tied at 35 in the middle of the third period into a 61-39 rout by 2:31 of the fourth frame.
“That may be the worst half of basketball we’ve displayed in awhile,” Sisco said of the second half. “The first two-and-a-half quarters, Westview acted like they didn’t want to be here. But, when they picked it up and started playing, we took a back seat and watched them play. The comment was made on our bench several times that we didn’t have five kids on the court who acted like it mattered.”
UC had its chances to take control but could not maintain momentum.
The Twisters scored the game’s first nine points only to see Westview score 13 of the next 15 points. UC then went ahead 31-24 to open the third quarter, but the Chargers followed by tying the game twice before pulling away.
Malik Stockdale had 15 points and Donte Simpson scored 11 for UC. Javier Gordon led all players with 21 points for Westview.
Olive Branch 66, UC 53 (B)
Once again, the third quarter proved to be the Tornadoes’ nemesis as they were outscored 18-6 after they trailed just 32-30 at the half.
UC never made a serious challenge down the stretch and saw its record dip to 9-5.
Marcus DeBerry led a trio of double-figure scores for Union City with 14 points. Khiry Lewis pitched in with 12 markers while Jamie Hyde finished with 10.
The loss was Union City’s third in its last four games and of the week.
Published in The Messenger 12.24.12