UP Vikings Surge Past Chargers
Friday in Cameron, the Union Pines Viking girls' basketball team used a strong fourth quarter surge to defeat the Northwood Chargers 45-39 in a non-conference contest.
With the win the Vikes are now 10-3 on the year. Last season Union Pines finished with a record of 10-14. Junior captain Alishia Mosley, who led all scorers Friday with 18 points, feels that for her team it is a new year.
"Before the game in the locker room," Mosley said, "we all talked about this being a new season and that we are now 0-0. This was a big win for us; we have now won as many games as we did all last season and it is this year that matters."
Trailing 32-30 after three quarters of play, Union Pines received a major lift from sophomores Tyesha McLean and Tashi Whitney to secure the victory.
McLean had six points, two steals and two assists in the final quarter, while Whitney scored five points in the period to go along with four rebounds and two steals.
"Tashi (Whitney) continues to improve everyday," Mosley said "and no mater what, she just keeps working hard. She really proved today that she is in there and that when we are down she is really there to pick us up. She is a great rebounder and I am proud of her.
Tyesha (McLean) also came through, which seems to always be the case. So yeah, this win really means a lot; we all pulled together as a team and just went for it."
As the last quarter commenced, McLean would jumpstart the Union Pines' attack. She had a hand in the Vikes' first six points with a sharp kick out assist and two buckets off of drives to the hoop, giving Union Pines a 36-34 lead with 6:11 to go in the game.
With her team trailing 38-36, Whitney then took over. She got three points the old fashioned way on an offensive put back to give the Vikes a 39-38 lead. Two Whitney free throws, after another offensive board, then stretched Union Pines' edge to 41-38 with fifty-seconds remaining. McLean then iced the game, sinking both ends of a double bonus to complete a seven-point run, as the Vikes led 43-38 with 24 seconds left on the clock.
Whitney's knee popped out of place early in the fourth quarter, forcing her to go to the bench -- but not for long.
"After my knee got hurt," Whitney said, "but then popped right back into place, I felt it was like some real momentum and a chance to really to help my team out when I got back on the floor."
She first injured her knee in seventh grade, and it is an ailment that has caused her to miss some playing this year after having aggravated it in the early season.
Union Pines came into the game at less than full force. The Vikings were without the services of senior starting post player Catherine Daley, while senior Lindsey Wilborn, Union Pines' second leading scorer, saw limited time due to a lingering wrist injury.
Mosley carried the brunt of the offensive load for the Vikes in the first half. She scored 10 points in the first quarter to help give Union Pines a 15-11 lead after one period. Mosley had 14 of her game-high 18 points in the first half, as the Vikings took a 23-19 led into intermission.
Despite being outmanned and outsized, the Vikes were able to win the battle down low as they out rebounded the Chargers 32 to 28.
"Northwood is the biggest team we have faced so far," said Whitney. The Chargers formidable frontline features 6-foot1 Rashmi Yanhook, who finished the night with 11 rebounds and 11 points, and 6-foot-2 Olivia Oakley who had 8 rebounds and three blocks.
"I felt Crystal Hicks really helped us down low," said Whitney, "she got some big rebounds down there."
Whitney finished the game with 10 rebounds to go along with 11 points. Hicks, a freshman, scored only two points but finished with six rebounds and three steals. Meanwhile McLean had 12 points six steals, four rebounds and three assists in the contest. Mosley also had eight rebounds, four steals and three assists. Senior point guard Reyanna Torrence did not break into the scorebook for Union Pines; however she did have two crucial defensive rebounds late in the game and finished the night with three steals.
The Vikes, currently 3-0 in Cape Fear Valley conference play, return to league action Tuesday when they play host to the Harnett Central Trojans, Tuesday at Union Pines.
Contact F. W. Manning II at 639-5481 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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