Union County brought a five-game winning streak into Friday’s game vs. Gaffney but the Indians pulled away late to edge the Yellow Jackets 70-59 in boys basketball action.
Union County (8-5) had not lost a game since their 111-55 loss vs. the Indians on Dec.14, 2010 and despite the 56-point loss Yellow Jackets head coach Will Hickson felt his team had a shot.
“We practiced yesterday to slow the tempo down and we did a good job of that early which is a contribute to our kids,” Hickson after Friday’s game.
The Jackets bought into Hickson’s plan and devised a different game plan with one thing in mind — make the defending 4A state champions Gaffney play outside of their quick-scoring game.
“We felt like we should slow the game down and Coach Hickson told us that at practice,” Union County senior Desmond Floyd said folloing a 22-point performance.
The Jackets limited Gaffney’s offense and managed a 9-2 run to end the half and were tied 27-27 at halftime. Both teams played closed throughout the third quarter but Union County could not fight back after Gaffney took a 56-49 lead with nearly four minutes remaining in the final period.
“We started rushing at the end of the game and fell off from where we started,” Floyd said.
Gaffney freshman L.J. Peak led all scorers with 24 points as the Indians remain undefeated this season.
Brett Smith was four-of-six from behind the three-point line to finish with 16 points for the Yellow Jackets. Devontae Glenn dropped in 13 points as Floyd, Glenn and Smith scored 51 of the Jackets 59 points.
“Where we want to get to, a moral loss won’t do. When we walked out there we expected to win and I told them before the game if you don't believe you can win the game then don't go out there,” Hickson said.
The Jackets prepare for region play at home Friday vs. Blue Ridge.
Expectations are high as the Yellow Jackets were picked in preseason polls to win Region III-AAA, and although a nonregion win vs. the Indians would have been nice a new season starts tomorrow (Friday).
Fans packed the gymnasium last Friday vs. the Indians and all are encouraged to come out to the high school gymnasium tomorrow (Friday) and cheer on the Yellow Jackets. The girls game is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the boys game will follow. Admission is $5.
“We’re excited about region play, a new season starts on Friday,” Hickson added.
GAFFNEY (13-0) — Peake 24, Davis 23, Smith 11, Dawkins 2, Littlejohn 2, Hardy 1, Shawnds 4, McDowell 2, Davidson 1.
UNION COUNTY (8-5) — Devontae Glenn 6-8 1-2 13, Joe Beatty 0-1 0-0 0, TJ Jeter 0-4 0-0 0, Brett Smith 5-12 2-3 16, Desmond Floyd 9-15 4-5 22, Victor Ruth 3-13 0-0 7, Keiston Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Quabel Henderson 0-0 1-2 1.
Halftime — Gaffney 27, UCHS 27. 3-pt. Field Goals Gaffney 2 (Smith 1, Davis1), UCHS 5 (B. Smith 4, Ruth 1). Rebounds — Gaffney 32, UCHS 25. Total Fouls — Gaffney 14, UCHS 21.
Indians edge Lady Jackets 44-30
Union County Lady Jackets fell 44-30 Friday vs. the visiting Indians.
Kristin Giles led the team in scoring with nine points.
Union County starts region play at home Friday vs. Blue Ridge.
No additional information was available as of Thursday’s press time.