UNION — The Union County girls basketball team used sound defense on Tuesday night to earn a 34-21 win over Laurens. Gaffney handed the Jackets their first loss of the season on Friday night and Coach Angela Burke was anxious to see how her team would respond.
“We were pretty upset after that loss,” said Burke. “But we had some excellent practices and regrouped. The girls knew they had to come in focused and work hard and that’s what they did.”
The Jackets led throughout the second half, slowing the game to a pace they were comfortable with.
“We were very patient when we got the lead,” said Burke. “The girls are maturing every game. K.G. (Kristen Giles) did a wonderful job as did Dexlie (Inman) when she took the point of slowing it down and working the offense. I challenged my guards to step up and keep the game flow going even when K.G. comes off the court and they accepted that challenge.”
Laurens took control early and never let up, routing Union County 59-37 on Tuesday. Missed shots and turnovers became problematic for the Jackets, especially down the strech.
“Our kids did play hard in the first half but I didn’t we competed very well in the third quarter,” said Union County Coach Will Hickson.
Laurens went on a 13-0 run in the third quarter that resulted in a 47-25 lead between periods. The Raiders tacked on eight more in the final frame before Union County hit a shot. Recus Hughes knocked down a jumper and Dakota Ivester followed with a three pointer. T.J. Foster nailed a trey to cut the Laurens lead back to 20 points before the Raiders drained two more and Hughes drove the lane for Union County’s final basket.
“We’re going to stop making excuses,” said Hickson. “We’ve had plenty enough time together now and those are things that I can control. I told them it’s my fault. We’re going to start new tomorrow. We’re going to make a couple of changes and something has got to give.”
Hughes and Victor Ruth led the Jackets’ scoring with seven points each. Foster netted six and Quan Hardy chipped in five points.
Both Union County boys and girls teams will host Spartanburg Christian on Thursday night beginning at 6 p.m.