Gators ousted by Union
By David Williams
Published in Sports on February 24, 2004 1:56 PM
CLINTON -- The first-ever playoff appearance of Spring Creek's girls basketball team turned into a short visit Monday night as the Lady Gators lost to Union 49-37 at the Lady Spartans' gym in the first-round of the Class 1-A state playoffs.
But the performance of coach Cassandra Tyson's team -- especially in the first half -- left supporters sad over the loss, but happy over what is yet to come for the third-year varsity program.
"It was a heartbreaker," said Tyson."We didn't want to go out this soon."
Both teams struggled early on, with Union taking a 5-2 lead after one period But the Lady Gators applied offensive presence through junior Shandloyn Rogers, who took that role all season. Rog-ers had been a focus of the Union defen-se in the opening period, but she broke loose for six points and was aided by four points from Yolanda Lawson as Spring Creek led 18-17 at halftime.
The second half did not go as well as the visiting Lady Gators began to turn the ball over -- and the Lady Spartans began to make then pay. Union's 17-6 third-period effort give them a 10-point lead at 43-24 and while Spring Creek worked at cutting the deficit, it could not make a serious run.
Justina Wright led all scorers with 14 points for Union, who came in as the Super Six's No. 3 seeded-team. Teammates Roxanne Parker had 13 and Markeisha Beatty had 11.
Rogers led the Gators, matching Wright with 14 points. Austi Joyner had nine points for the Lady Gators.
Tyson said that while she was sad at the end of the season, her team can reflect on the most wins in school history and another step in the right direction for the program's progress.
"We took that fourth seed, and we've never had double-digit wins (11-16) before," she said.
Tyson credited the performances of Rogers and Yolanda Lawson, the team's lone senior.
"We were very fortunate that Shandolyn moved here and she became a part of our team," said Tyson. "And Yolanda was a great defensive force for us."
Union advances to play North Brunswick in Leland on Wednesday night.
Spring Creek 2 16 6 13 -- 37
Union 5 12 17 15 -- 49
SPRING CREEK (11-16)
Shandolyn Rogers 5 0 4-6 14, Austi Joyner 2 0 1-2 9, Lolanda Lawson 2 0 2-2 6, Tomeka Pride 1 0 2-2 4, Troia Morgan 1 0 0-0 2, Shantell Patterson 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 12 0 9-12 37.
Justina Wright 3 2 2-5 14, Roxanne Palmer 5 0 3-8 13, Markeisha Beatty4 0 3-3 11, Shonta Robinson 1 0 6-10 8, Tyesha Underwood 1 0 0-0 2, Kendra Williams 0 0 1-2 1, Danielle Davis 0 0 0-2 0. TOTALS -- 14 2 15-30 49.
Three-point baskets -- Union 2 (Wright 2). Turnovers -- Spring Creek 29, Union 32. Total fouls -- Spring Creek 20, Union 13. Fouled out -- Pride, Patterson. Technicals - none.
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