Lady Vikings Continue Hot Start
The Union Pines Lady Vikings kept their perfect record intact with a 35-17 nonconference basketball victory over 3A Southwestern Randolph Monday.
The visiting Vikings led 15-0 after the first quarter. Union Pines was in cruise control from there, improving its record to 5-0 on the season with the win. It is the best start for the U.P. girls’ hoops program in over five seasons.
“This year we have set goals as a team,” said Viking senior captain Tyesha McLean. “At the start of the season, a bunch of people were doubting us because Alishia (Mosley) graduated, so one of those goals is to come out and prove everybody wrong.”
Mosley, who led the Vikes in scoring over her final three years at Union Pines, is now a member of the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball team. She finished her career at U.P. with 1,365 points and 152 three pointers. Last season, Mosley scored 603 points and sank 81 of her final 125 attempts from three point land for the Vikes in her senior campaign.
“We have been practicing really hard all season,” McLean said, “and are bonding strong together on and off the court. So we just want to come out for each game and take care of business.”
McLean tallied five points, seven steals, four assists and four rebounds in Monday’s game. Her fellow co-captain, junior Crystal Hicks, had nine rebounds, four steals and three assists along with four points on the night.
“I have many more responsibilities now, since we did lose a lot with Alishia graduating,” Hicks said, “and also because I am an upperclassman. I knew coming into the season I was going to have to step my game up, especially on the offensive boards. So far we have done a great job of all pulling together as a team and I guess that is a main reason we are off to such a strong start.”
Sophomore Tyler Ross finished with her third double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebound to lead the Vikings in both categories. Senior starters Tashi Whitney and Cristina Morcom each turned in solid performances as well for Union Pines. Whitney scored seven points along with five rebounds, three steals and three assists, while Morcom finished with six points, four rebounds and two blocks.
The Lady Vikes were scheduled to return to their home court Tuesday to host Richmond Senior. Union Pines pulled off a nail biter against the Lady Raiders early last week, winning the nonconference tilt 34-33 in Rockingham.
The Lady Vikings are back in action Friday at Spring Lake in their 3A Cape Fear Valley Conference opener against Overhills.
U.P. Boys’ Record Slips to 1-4
The Union Pines boys’ basketball team fell by a final of 50-42 against Southwestern Randolph in Asheboro in the evening’s nightcap.
The homestanding Cougars connected behind the arc four times in the opening quarter on their way to building a 19-10 lead as play moved to the second period.
By halftime, Southwestern Randolph had made six three pointers and led 32-17. The Vikes did manage to cut the Cougar lead to 36-28 with three periods of play in the books, and twice trimmed the margin to just five points through the opening four minutes of the fourth quarter.
But Southwestern Randolph (2-2) managed to then close the game out with some solid execution in its spread offense along with some clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch.
Junior Parris Manning led the Vikes in scoring with 11 points. Sophomore Matthew Maness had nine points and three assists for Union Pines, while junior point guard Lashun Brower tallied eight points, four rebounds and four assists. Braxton Ross led the Vikings with eight rebounds and Kendrick McRae pulled down seven boards.
The Cougars were paced by a 15-point, 16 rebound double-double from Silas Kirkman. Alex Hughes added 10 points and seven rebounds on the night for Southwestern Randolph.
With the loss, U.P. is now 1-4 on the season. The Vikes were scheduled to take on Richmond Senior Tuesday at Union Pines’ Bob Ward Gymnasium. Richmond won the first meeting between the schools, earning a 69-50 victory last week.
Union Pines faces the Overhills Jaguars in its CFVC opener Friday, directly following the varsity girls’ game in Spring Lake.
Contact F.W. Manning II at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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