UP Girls Drop League-Leading Westover
Union Pines' girls' basketball team climbed into a tie atop the Cape Fear Valley 3A Conference standings in convincing fashion Wednesday.
Captains Alishia Mosley and Tyesha McLean combined to score 47 points as the Lady Vikings claimed a 51-39 win over Westover, which entered the game alone atop the league standings.
With the win, Union Pines extended its current winning streak to nine games and improved to 17-5 on the year, having taken its last loss at Westover. Both teams are 9-2 in the league standings heading into Friday's regular season finales, in which Union Pines hosts Douglas Byrd (6-16, 2-9) and Westover (15-5) plays defending regular season champion Western Harnett (19-5, 7-4), the only other team to beat the Wolverines in conference play.
Western fell 64-61 in overtime to third-place Overhills (18-4, 8-3) on Tuesday.
Should Union Pines and Westover finish tied atop the league standings after splitting the regular season series, the tiebreaker would come down to how the two teams fared against the third-place team. Union Pines split against Overhills, while Westover swept the Jaguars. Meanwhile, Union Pines swept Western Harnett. Overhills closes the regular season at Gray's Creek.
Wednesday's game marked the second time the Lady Viking backcourt duo of McLean and Mosley has combined to scored 47 points this season.
"For me, I know Westover won a state championship a few years ago," said McLean, "so I set my mind to work hard in practice this week and really be a leader to help our team stay focused and be ready for this game."
McLean scored a game-high 23 points while finishing with six rebounds, five steals and four assists.
"After starting league play at 1-2, this feels really good," she said, "especially since Westover got the best of us earlier this season and then came here tonight in our gym seeming to think they already had it won."
McLean shot out of the gates in full stride in the opening half, scoring 16 points while tallying three steals, three assists and three rebounds as the Vikes led 15-6 after the first quarter and took a 29-16 lead into intermission.
Meanwhile, Mosley, the N.C. A&T signee who has been the catalyst for the Lady Vikings' current winning streak, came out unusually cold from the field, missing five of her first seven field goal attempts. However, the senior guard still found ways to score, making five throws to the end the half with nine points.
As the second half started, Mosley began to heat up, sinking a deep three-pointer and a pull-up jumper in the third quarter, while McLean scored six points as Union Pines carried a 41-28 lead into the final period.
Mosley then came out on fire in the fourth, connecting on four of her five field goal attempts in the frame. She finished the contest with 23 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks.
Viking head coach John Lewkowicz also pointed credit toward the Vikings' defense, especially in the post.
"I thought our defense was superb tonight, especially down in the interior," he said. "We never let Westover get comfortable in their shots, and that is always a key when you are going up against a talented and tall team."
Friday's game will mark Senior Night for the Lady Vikings. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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