Viking Girls Roll Past Patriots
The Vike girls put on a dominating display of team basketball, Friday at Union Pines, as they claimed a convincing 60-32 victory over their cross-county rival Pinecrest Patriots.
For Union Pines (4-1) the victory was sweet revenge. The Vikes dropped a 60-57 overtime contest to the Patriots (2-3) in this year's Pilot Cup at Pinecrest. Viking head coach John Lewkowicz felt this game was the real test for his team.
"In our first game with Pinecrest," Lewkowicz said, "there were some things we knew we could do better. We wanted to make sure when we played this ballgame that we could walk off the floor and say we were a better team than we were the first time and I think we can say that now.
"The girls were psyched. For our seniors it was the last time they would face Pinecrest and I was really happy with the way we came out. We were really focused and did a great job."
Vike co-captain and junior guard Alishia Mosley hit nothing but net on a deep three on her team's first possession of the night. From there, Union Pines rapidly built a commanding lead.
The Vikings thrived in transition in the opening period, racking up seven team steals and six assists. Mosley started the game on fire scoring nine first-quarter points, while collecting three steals and dishing out three assists.
Mosley said the Vikes came out with mindset of playing their hardest and giving it all they had.
"We were coming off two big games," Mosley said, "and we just wanted to leave it all on the floor tonight. With everybody contributing to the cause we came out on top."
A jumper by Vike senior captain Lindsey Wilborn made the score 14-1 with 4:10 left in the first. When freshman Crystal Hicks made a steal and connected with Wilborn for a fast break-bucket, Union Pines led 22-3 with under a minute left in the quarter. Hicks made an 18-footer at the buzzer to give the Vikes a 24-5 lead moving into the second period.
Union Pines did not relent, as the Vikes picked up eight second quarter steals utilizing there pressure defense. Senior guard Reyanna Torrence had ten points in the period; she scored three points the old fashion way on a fast break to push the Viking lead to 39-8 at halftime.
Torrence was especially pleased to get a win over the Patriots in her last game in the "Battle of the Pines" series.
"After losing to Pinecrest in the Pilot Cup this win felt good," said Torrence. "We wanted to prove to everybody we are a good team, and to get out there and jump on them early.
"As the season started we had several players that were sick," she said. "We are all finally starting to get healthy and have been practicing hard, especially focusing on defense. Now all of that is starting to show out on the court."
As a team, the Vikings totaled 17 steals and 10 assists in the opening 16 minutes. Torrence had 14 first half points and four steals, while Mosley had nine points, three steals and three assists. Sophomore guard Tyesha McLean tallied seven points, three steals and three assists in the half. Hicks chipped in with four points and three steals.
When play resumed in the third quarter, the Vikes slowed things down on offense as Lewkowicz constantly rotated players in and out of the game. However, Union Pines steal put the clamp down on defense as they totaled seven more steals in the period. Pinecrest did get some offensive production out of Jamecia McNeill who scored nine points in the third stanza.
Heading into the final quarter, the Vikes had the game well in hand, as they held a 51-20 advantage. However, Patriot post player Candice Seagraves stayed focused despite the score and turned in a fine fourth-period performance, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven boards.
On the night Seagraves led Pinecrest in scoring with 15 points and rebounding with 14 boards. McNeill joined her in double figures with 12 points.
Torrence had a game high 16 points for Union Pines, to go along with six steals and three assists. Mosley finished with 12 points six rebounds, six assists and four steals. McLean had 10 points, four steals and five assists on the night, while Wilborn scored ten points and made five steals
Hicks turned in another solid game off the bench. The Vike freshman finished with six points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Mosley feels Hicks has really caught on to the varsity level game fast and is a major contributor to the team.
"Crystal (Hicks) is really stepping up and is playing her game," said Mosley. "She came in the season as freshman," Mosley said, "but she is out of that mode we don't consider her one anymore. She broke out of that little shell and is now just consistently doing so good."
F.W. Manning II can be reached at 639-5481 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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