Union varsities sweep Rosewood
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on December 6, 2006 1:47 PM
When a team is held to only one field goal over the final 11 minutes of the game, they usually have a tough time winning.
That was the case for the Union Spartans who, instead of making field goals, made free throws to defeat Rosewood 47-40 on Tuesday evening in non-conference play.
The man-to-man defense Rosewood used forced seven Union turnovers along with countless bad shots as they played the back and forth contest that featured nine lead changes by the two teams.
Trailing 32-31 after three quarters, the Eagles aggressive pressure became too intense at times as they began committing foul after foul.
"We got into foul trouble," said Rosewood first-year coach Debbie Bailey. "We're not really strong with our replacements for our 1-2-3 spots in our lineup and that hurt tonight."
Union took advantage of the fouls and stayed in the double-bonus for most of the final quarter allowing them to shoot 16 free throws.
By comparison, Rosewood shot only two in the fourth quarter.
Even so, the Eagles had their chances to pull out a victory.
A layup by Kasie Braswell gave Rosewood a 38-37 lead with 4:10 to play, but that would be the Eagles' last lead of the evening.
Union's lone field goal in the quarter broke a 38-38 tie. Sasha Millington's third three-pointer of the game lifted the Spartans to a 41-38 lead they'd never relinquish.
The Eagles closed the gap to 41-40 on a jumper by Shantal Johnston, but those points would be their last of the night.
"We talked about it yesterday in practice about what we needed to do for tonight's game," said Bailey. "A few of the girls just didn't want to follow what the team needed do tonight, so that's ultimately what gave us our loss."
Union made six of their final eight shots from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
Despite the loss, Bailey's one bright spot was the play of the sophomore Millington, who was actually on the JV roster. She scored a team-high 16 points, including all but one of Rosewood's points during the third-quarter.
"Oh gosh, she stepped up," said Bailey. "She stepped up and played an excellent game tonight."
Courtney Hill also reached double-figures for the Eagles tallying 10 points.
Union was led by Johnston's game-high 17 points.
The loss dropped the Eagles to 1-1 on the season.
"We've got a lot of things to work on," said Bailey.
In boys action, Union led by nine with less that five minutes to play, yet needed a clutch steal and free throws to hold on for a 52-47 victory over Rosewood.
In the loss, Rosewood coach Daniel Mitchell hopes the outcome can serve as an important learning experience for his team.
"It's the first time we've been in that situation, a close game like that," said Mitchell. "We have to use this as a learning experience so when we're in a close game again, we'll know what to do."
Joey Boyette and Stephen McIntyre both score 13 points to lead Rosewood (0-2). Dennis Jones and Holt Rains both added seven.
Lamont Lamb led Union (2-0) with 13 points.
The Spartans seemed to have control of the game when they went up by nine on a three from Brandon Taylor with 4:20 to play.
Mitchell then got his team to turn up the intensity of the Eagles' defense.
A zone press followed by a tight man-to-man defense frustrated Union into four straight turnovers. During that span, Rosewood scored five unanswered on a three-point bomb from Adrian Dahranj and a layup from Rains to cut the deficit to four at 48-44 with 2:34 to play.
The Eagles then took advantage of the Spartans missing free throws.
After a miss by Brent Graham on the front end of a one and one, Rains made a strong move inside giving him position to make the basket and draw the foul. The ensuing free throw made it a one-point game with .46 seconds left.
"(Rains) had some big shots and some big rebounds for us there in the fourth-quarter to keep us in the ballgame," said Mitchell.
After two more misses on the front end of one and ones, Dahranj drew a foul in the backcourt bringing him to the line for his own one and one. The free throw hit the front of the rim and bounced down to a Union defender.
A free throw by Lamb, followed by his steal and layup sealed Rosewood's fate.
"I'm proud of the way our guys played and stuck in there against a good athletic Union team," said Mitchell. "We put ourselves in position to win the ball game at the end, but it just didn't work out for us this time."
Union 12 6 14 15 -- 47
Rosewood 6 17 8 9 -- 40
Sasha Millington 2 3 4-4 17, Takeri Fryar 6 0 1-3 13, Cortney Graham 2 0 4-6 8, Jennifer Bright 0 1 4-6 7, Kendra Willaims 0 0 2-2 2. TOTALS -- 10 4 15-21 47.
Shantal Johnston 7 0 2-4 16, Courtney Hill 3 0 4-6 10, Kasie Braswell 4 0 0-0 8, Haile Meadows 1 0 0-0 2, Mary Moore 1 0 0-0 2, Shanita Monroe 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 17 0 6-10 40.
Union 13 19 7 13 -- 52
Rosewood 12 13 10 13 -- 47
Lamont Lamb 4 0 5-9 13, David Hickmond 0 2 1-3 7, Brent Graham 1 1 2-3 7, Brandon Taylor 2 1 0-0 7, Fletcher Davis 0 2 0-0 6, Tobias Adams 2 0 1-4 5, Terrance Douglas 2 0 1-1 5, Isaac Carr 1 0 0-0 2, Adagio Faison 0 0 0-2. TOTALS -- 12 6 10-22 52.
Stephen McIntyre 6 0 1-3 13, Joey Boyette 5 0 3-4 13, Holt Rains 3 0 1-1 7, Dennis Jones 2 0 3-3 7, Adrian Dahranj 0 1 0-1 3, Taylor Allan 1 0 0-0 2, Sean Corman 0 0 2-2 2. TOTALS -- 17 1 10-14 47.
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