Union County triumphed in the battle of the Yellow Jackets Tuesday night as they faced Greer for their fourth straight road game since the start of region play.
The boys game was an exciting back and forth contest that concluded with Union County pulling out a 73-67 win.
The Yellow Jackets hit some key jumpers early courtesy of TJ Jeter and Brett Smith. Together, the two contributed nine of Union County’s 11 first quarter points.
Solid defense also played a big part in the victory. Coach Will Hickson matched junior Victor Ruth up against Greer’s Lebrian Shiflet who has been an offensive powerhouse averaging 29 points per game.
“Victor played great defense against Shiflet,” said Hickson. “I mean, wow. Shiflet is probably the best offensive player we’re going to face. TJ Foster, who is just a sophomore, started out with him and did a great job. We brought in Victor in the second half and he really stepped up and did a great job defending him.”
Ruth said that Union County had a game plan heading into the game that included getting the ball inside and that the team followed the plan even better as the game progressed. “We have Chapman next at home and we’re looking forward to getting back to our court. We’ll have to play them hard, especially on defense.”
The Union County Yellow Jackets had an outstanding night on the offensive boards as well, including a big offensive rebound and put back by Keiston Smith to take the lead for good in the fourth quarter.
“Anytime you come to Greer and get a victory is a great night,” said Hickson. “All the kids stepped up tonight. Greer had no answer for Keiston. We got a lot of offensive rebounds, we talk about attacking the glass and the kids are starting to realize that we could be a good basketball team. What we can’t do now is stop. We’re finally going back home to play on Friday and we hope everyone comes out to support these kids.”
Brett Smith led Union County’s scoring with 20 points. TJ Jeter followed with 14. Devonte Glenn and Keiston Smith put up 13 and 10 respectively. Quebel Henderson added eight points and Ruth contributed four.
With the win, the Jackets adavance to 2-1 in region play.
The Lady Jackets also earned a road win, defeating Greer 65-51.
Union County was led in scoring by Kritsin Giles with 26 points. Giles also had two steals and a shot block. McKale Hardy had a big night, pulling down 27 rebounds and scoring 17 points. Andrea Eison netted 15 points and providing defensive aggressiveness for Union County with five steals. Also contributing to the win was freshman CeCe Morman with five points and eight rebounds and Dana Brannon with two points.
“We’ve got to keep our eye on the prize and not let up,” said coach Yoneko Washington. “We’re going to get back in the gym and tweak some things and get ready for Chapman. They scrap and get after it so we’ll have to be ready to do the same thing.”
The Lady Jackets are now 8-6 overall and 1-2 in region AAA-III.