Losses End Vikes' Runs in CFV Tourney
The Union Pines basketball team will now turn their collective attention to the state playoffs.
Both teams suffered upset losses in the Cape Fear Valley Conference tournaments this week.
But there isn't much time to sulk. The Viking boys will host Western Guilford at 7 p.m. Monday. Time and location for the girls' game were undetermined at press time.
Wednesday, Overhills eliminated the Viking girls, 35-30, in the conference semifinals in Lillington.
Union Pines held a 20-15 lead at intermission behind nine points from junior guard Alishia Mosley. The Vikings would extend that lead to 27-19 with 2:43 left in the third period on a fast-break score from Tyesha McLean.
Holding a 27-21 edge after three quarters of play, Union Pines was just eight minutes away from finding themselves in position to play for the championship on their home court, as top seed Western Harnett was forced to forfeit its opening round win against Harnett Central due to dressing an ineligible player.
However, the Vikings managed to score just three points in the final 11 minutes of the game.
Overhills took its first lead of the contest at the 4:49 mark on a trey by junior Miraya Gentry, making the score 29-28.
Down 33-30 with 53 seconds left, the Vikes would have several chances to score from the paint, midrange and behind the arc but could not get a shot to drop.
Overhills outscored Union Pines 14-3 in the fourth period to earn its first win in three tries against the Vikes this year. Having swept the regular season series with the Lady Jags, a shorthanded Viking squad (missing two key reserves) appeared to simply run out of gas physically and mentally in the games' final minutes of the matchup.
Mosley led Union Pines with 12 points, while McLean scored 10.
Tuesday at Cameron, the third time was not a charm for the Vike boys either, as they were ousted in the opening round of the conference tournament by the Triton Hawks.
Ten days after dominating the Hawks, 67-48 at Union Pines to complete a regular season series sweep of the team, the third seed Vikes were upset 61-54 by sixth seed Triton.
Triton opened the fourth period with nine unanswered points.
Triton's 6-foot-9 center Aaron Coats began to assert himself in the paint scoring six points, blocking two shots and grabbing five boards as Triton began the period on a 13-4 run.
Meanwhile Union Pines had trouble from the field against the Hawk's 1-2-2 zone. Trailing 56-46 with 2:50 left to play, Vike head coach Bobby Purvis opted to insert a lineup featuring speed, perimeter shooting and defense.
Sophomore standout Quentin Martin made his Union Pines' varsity debut at the 3:36 mark. In his junior varsity campaign this year he averaged over four steals and five assists a game. In several contests he finished with more than three treys, proving all season to be a clutch outside threat with solid range.
Along with Marin, Purvis went with junior forward and defensive specialist Brandon Brown, three-point threat Will Maness, speedy shooting guard Justin Marshall and Toomer. The unit would finish the game out for Union Pines and made a late charge, featuring two Martin steals and assists, and treys by Brown and Maness, clawing back to trail score 58-54.
Down 59-54 with 38 seconds to play, a Martin three-point attempt from the left corner tantalizingly rattled both sides of the rim twice before bouncing out as the Vikings comeback bid fell short.
Toomer led Union Pines with 14 points and 12 boards, Chris Henderson had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Marshall added 10 points.
Coats led Triton with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
Contact F.W. Manning II at 639-5481 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.?
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