With the loss, the Jackets (3-4) drop below the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Gaffney’s Zevonta Shands scored 10 points in less than three minutes in the third quarter to drive a dagger in the Jackets and continue the Indians (6-0) perfect season.
Unofficially, the Jackets had 15 first-half turnovers that led to fast breaks and easy baskets for the Indians.
The Jackets plan heading into the game was to stay composed, relaxed and not to get caught up playing Gaffney’s fast-break, up-tempo style.
However, Union County’s plan of action quickly went awry.
The Jackets stayed on course during the first four minutes of the game as they trailed only by one score, 8-5, but the remaining 28 minutes of the game went just the way Gaffney (6-0) wanted it — lightning fast.
Union County head coach Will Hickson said running up and down the court with Gaffney was not what the Jackets wanted to do.
Gaffney would go on to outscore the Jackets 46-18 to take a 54-26 halftime lead.
Union County got offensive help from senior Desmond Floyd who scored nine first-half points. Floyd’s contributions were not enough to stop Gaffney’s fleet-footed scoring attack.
Shands’ third-quarter scoring spree drove the Jackets deeper in a hole as he scored 12 of his 16 points in the third quarter. Shands and Dershaun Dawkins each scored 16 points to lead the Indians.
TJ Jeter of Union County finished with a game-high 19 points. Jeter scored 12 second-half points.
Union County has nearly two weeks to dwell on the 56-point loss before traveling to Landrum for a Christmas Tournament where they will face Blacksburg in round one.
Hickson says there is much to address following a loss like this one.
“We got a lot to work on like effort and listening but that all falls back on me,” Hickson added after Tuesday’s game.
Brett Smith also scored in double-digits for the Jackets as Smith hit three third-quarter three-pointers to finish with 12 points.
Varsity girls action
Gaffney 64, UCHS 60 (OT)
Lady Jackets had several opportunities to grab a road win vs. a Big 16 opponent Tuesday but could not put away the Indians.
Union County led late in regulation and again in overtime before falling to Gaffney 64-60 in overtime.
Stats and highlights were not in by Wednesday’s press time but be sure to check out the Times Web site for more information regarding the Lady Jackets game.
JV girls basketball
Gaffney 58, UCHS 10
Union County’s JV girls basketball team fell 58-10 in their season-opener vs. Gaffney Tuesday.
Jerricka Hall scored six points to lead the Yellow Jackets. Union County’s Madison Vaughan and Shakia Smith dropped in two points apiece.
The Lady Jackets return to action Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, at Gaffney at 6 p.m.
JV boys basketball
Yellow Jackets JV team also played Gaffney last night but no results were available by Wednesday’s press time.