The Lady Jackets were eliminated from post-season play on Thursday night in a 72-48 road loss to Wade Hampton.
The story of the night was offensive rebounds. Wade Hampton dominated the boards, outrebounding the Jackets in every quarter. Union County’s McKale Hardy battled in the paint, pulling down 19 rebounds in the contest. But apparently the Falcons had done their homework on the Yellow Jackets and were expecting Hardy to be a threat, using a sagging defense that dropped down to double and triple team the senior whenever she got the ball.
Guard Kristen Giles kept the Jackets afloat in the first quarter, contributing eight of Union County’s 15 points and quickly knocking down a long three pointer in the second period. But after an assist to Hardy for two, Giles picked up her third foul and coach Yoneko Washington was forced to bench her for the remainder of the half. When Giles exited the game, the Lady Jackets trailed by only three points, 23-20. Wade Hampton took advantage of Giles’ absence and went on a 16-4 run to end the first half at 39-24.
The Falcons scored the first six points out of intermission, four of which came by way of offensive boards, before Hardy snagged a rebound and put it up for two. Andrea Eison knocked down two free throws followed by a triple-teamed Hardy turn around jumper. A field goal from Diamond Lee cut the Falcons’ lead back to 15 but Wade Hampton began to pull away again midway through the third quarter. Giles hit her second three pointer of the night and after a Falcons’ turnover was sent the line where she was 2-2 before she picked up her fourth foul with 2:29 left in the frame. By the end of the third Wade Hampton enjoyed a 57-37 lead.
Hardy made a valiant effort to rally her team back in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of Union County’s 11 points. However, it was not enough to hold off the Falcons and Union County’s season came to an end.
Hardy finished the night with 18 points and 19 rebounds. Giles also turned in 18 points for the Jackets. Eison contributed six points while Lee and Cece Moorman added three points each.