By RANDY CAVIN
Special to The Messenger
It took an extra period of play to determine the Area Small School Tournament champion in the girls’ game, but Union City came out on top with a 32-29 win over Lake County.
Union City came up short in boys’ title game against Halls 48-40 after being down by as many as 17 points in the third period.
Tykeshia Vaughn hit what turned out to be the game-winning shot at the free throw line when she made both attempts to give UC a 30-28 lead with 1:29 to play.
Head coach Abby Cruce said after the game that her girls had to bring it all for this game.
“We did not have anything to lose,” she said. “We just could not leave anything out on the floor.
The Lady Tornadoes are now 9-8 and will play in the TMSAA Sectionals at Martin Middle School at 4:20 p.m. on Saturday. Lake County (8-8) will play at 1:40 in Martin.
UC boys’ skipper Antawn Coby was wishing his team had a few more minutes on the clock after the way his team battled back.
“I think my kids looked up at the scoreboard in the fourth quarter and decided they better play harder,” he said. “The tide started turning, and I think if we had a few more minutes we would have caught up with Halls.”
UC is now 13-3 and will play in the 8:20 game at Martin. Halls (10-5) will play in the 5:40 game.
UC 31, LC 29 (G)
The No. 1-seeded Lady Twisters proved their worth on Saturday after a tough contest against the No. 3 Lady Falcons.
Neither team wanted to give in, but in the end it came down to some free throws in overtime. UC made 3-of-4 in overtime and LC could only make 1-of-4.
The overtime period started with the score 25-25, but Chante DeBerry quickly changed that for the Lady Twisters with a 3-pointer from the wing. LC answered with a 3-point play from DJ Pearson to tie the game at 28 with 1:42 to play.
Vaughn then hit her pair of free throws to put UC up for good at 30-28. Lake County’s Shainne Merriweather had a chance to tie the game with 1:09 to play, but she missed the back end of a pair free throws.
LC had one last chance to tie the game or take the lead when Ayisha Hockett stepped to the line for a pair of shots from the charity stripe. But she missed both shots and then fouled Vaughn once again with 13 seconds to play. Vaughn hit 1-of-2 shots and LC never got a chance to get another shot at the basket.
“I think that was one of those times where we got lucky,” Cruce said. “They had every opportunity in the world to score. It just finally fell our way. We were able to capitalize on their missed shots.
UC led 8-7 after the first period, 13-9 at the half and 21-20 after the end of three. UC held a 25-22 lead when Merriweather tied it with a 3-pointer with 2:37 to play. Neither team could get the ball to fall through the hoop in the last 2:37 of the fourth period.
Vaughn scored 11 points, as did fellow Lady Twister Chynia Hyde. DeBerry scored five, followed by Alivia Bishop and Anesha Eskew with two points each.
Halls 48, UC 40 (B)
The Twisters dug themselves into an early hole in the first period after Halls went on a 12-point run in the last three minutes of the period with it ending on Union City’s Wilaveion Burton’s jumper at the buzzer.
Halls led 16-10 at the end of the first period and jumped out to 28-15 lead at the half. UC only scored five points in the second period to 12 by Halls.
“It boiled down to effort tonight,” Coby said. “For three quarters, Halls wanted it more than us. Once you dig yourself into a double-digit hole, it is very hard to come out of it.”
Halls got out in front by 17 midway through the third period before UC attempted to get back into the game. A pair of baskets by Burton and a free throw by Quentrail Polk cut the lead to 36-24 at the end of three.
Tarius Pirtle sliced the lead to single digits on his basket to make it a 38-29 game with 4:16 to play. Burton got it down to an eight-point lead in his basket with 3:52 to play, but Hall answered with a 9-5 run in a two minute span.
The Twisters got to within seven points on Polk’s 3-pointer with 2:38 to play, Halls was not to be denied as the Tigers came right back with five quick points.
“They didn’t quit on me,” Coby said about his guys. “At halftime, I thought we could have come out and played with a better effort. It still took us a while, but when we did do that we got back into the game.”
Burton lead the Twisters with 16 points. Jeremy Bumpus scored eight and Polk added seven. Kalab Dowell chipped in five for UC and Pirtle scored four.
Myron McKinney led Halls with 13 and Tyrese Johnson scored 11.
Published in The Messenger 1.28.13