The Yellow Jackets played host to Laurens on Tuesday night and both the boys and the girls teams fell to the Red Raiders.
In a back and forth contest, the Lady Jackets were edged out 56-51.
The Jackets set the pace early on and didn’t relinquish the lead until just before the half, trailing by one at 25-24.
Laurens hit a lay-up right away in the opening seconds of the third quarter and Union County’s McHale Hardy answered with a three pointer. The teams traded baskets and each gave up a couple of fouls before the Raiders took their largest lead of the night at 39-33, ending the quarter.
The Jackets rallied in the fourth frame with Kristen Giles knocking down a couple of three pointers but with time running out Union County was forced to foul.
Thirty-seven seconds remained in the contest and the Jackets were down 55-50.
Laurens made one of two free throws and Union County got the ball back. Maurey Eison was sent to the line for the Jackets and hit one free throw.
Giles got one last attempt at a three pointer as the clock ran out but it didn’t fall and the Jackets suffered a 56-51 loss.
“We did keep fighting and I’m proud of them for that,” said coach Yoneko Washington. “In the past we’ve had teams that might have given up and gotten blown out, but these girls didn’t. They know they didn’t give the effort that we need throughout the entire game but they didn’t quit. We have to come mentally prepared and physically prepared. Today we weren’t mentally prepared. But if we play our game on Friday against Mid-Carolina, we will be fine.”
Giles led all scorers with 28 points. Andrea Eison netted seven and Maurey Eison tacked on five.
The Jackets suffered a 63-42 loss at the hands of the Raiders.
Union County kept it close in the first quarter. Victor Ruth found a home for his jumper and Rob Williams had a couple put backs for the Jackets.
The Jackets opened the second quarter with a short jumper courtesy of Quebel Henderson cutting the Laurens lead to one at 14-13.
However, the Raiders went on a 12-2 run before Ruth knocked down a three pointer. A Laurens turnover put the ball back in the hands of the Jackets and Brett Smith was sent to the line for a one and one, collecting two points. A Raiders lay-up and a Jackets three pointer from Smith ended the half at 28-21.
“We were down seven going into halftime but we actually had momentum and came out with a good plan,” said coach Will Hickson. “We just had some minor miscommunications.”
Turnover plagued the Jackets in the second half and they were out-rebounded 6-2 in the third quarter. The Raiders went on an 11-0 run and by the end of the period the Jackets found themselves down by 20 points.
However, the resilient Jackets would not give up and hit some big three pointers in the fourth quarter, keeping the Raiders from extending the lead beyond 22 for a final score of 63-42.
“We got out-rebounded 38-21 and had 24 turnovers to their nine,” said Hickson. “We’ve got to do a better job of stopping those runs and come together more as a team and family. But we battled and didn’t quit. We are going to try to right this ship on Wednesday and Thursday at practice and come back on Friday looking to get our first victory of the year. The kids aren’t going to quit and we have a lot to look forward to this year.”
Ruth paced the Jackets with 10 points. Glenn netted nine. Henderson and Williams contributed five and four points respectively.
Reach Tiffany Grady-Hudgins at 864-427-1234, ext. 25, or at email@example.com