Cavs Handle Union Pines Boys in League Play
The Union Pines boys' basketball team lost 67-56 to the Southern Lee Cavaliers in a Cape Fear Valley 3A Conference game Friday in Cameron.
Southern Lee senior guard A.J. Jackson opened the game with three straight 3-pointers as the Cavs jumped out to an early 9-2 lead. Vike forward Jon Toomer scored the first six points for Union Pines and a free throw by Justin Brabham made the score 11-7 at the 3:21 mark. Jackson tallied 16 points in the quarter as the Cavs took a 23-12 lead into the start of the second quarter.
Cav junior forward Darius Gill had eight points in the second frame. When Jackson sank his fifth long ball of the night, Southern Lee held a 36-23 edge and went on to lead 42-27 at intermission.
Toomer led Union Pines at the break with 10 points, while Jackson led all scorers with 19 points through the first two periods.
As the second half commenced, the Cavs stayed in command as sophomore point guard Ace Chalmers tallied nine third-quarter points while dishing out three assists and collecting three steals. One of his assists in the period came on Jackson's sixth three of the tilt, which gave Southern Lee a 52-37 lead. By the end of the quarter the Cavs were up by a score of 56-39 and in complete control of the contest.
After the game, Viking head coach Bobby Purvis was impressed with the cohesiveness and chemistry the Cavaliers displayed out on the court.
"Southern Lee's kids played really well," said Purvis. "I was very impressed with their performance. Coming in I knew that they were going to play hard, but the thing I really appreciated about this Cavalier basketball squad tonight is how well they played together as a team. Each one of their guys seemed to be doing the things he needed and was best suited to do in order to make them the best they could be as a team."
With the win, Southern Lee moved to 9-6 overall and 5-0 in league play, to remain alone atop the conference standings. Jackson finished the night with six 3-pointers and a game-high 25 points. Sophomore Josh Mellette had 11 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, while Chalmers joined the pair in double figures with 13 points along with 11 assists and seven steals.
Toomer finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Vikes (7-6, 2-2) who have now dropped four straight games and two consecutive league contests. Union Pines' senior captain, center Chris Henderson, bounced back from a slow start in the first period to score 15 points in the contest and collected eight boards.
"This was another tough loss for us, obviously," Purvis said, "but we can't dwell on it. There are some things we still need to tighten up, and I believe we can do that. Our team is not that far away, and if they really work on some fine details then they can improve. But we've got to improve, and we've got to improve real soon."
Union Pines received a total of 13 points from its backcourt, while the Cavaliers' guards (Jackson and Chalmers) combined for 39.
Vike senior point guard Eric Smith, who has a career-high of 29 points to his credit (and scored as many as 21 in a single half), finished the tilt without a point. Sophomore reserve guard Josh Smith scored all seven of his points in the first half, while Brabham, the Vikings' starting shooting guard, finished with six.
Saturday Union Pines played against the Patriots at Pinecrest. The Vikes' next game is a league contest Monday in Lillington versus the Western Harnett Eagles.
Southern Lee 24 18 14 11 - 67
Union Pines 13 14 12 17 - 56
SL: S. Alston 2 2-2 6; Chalmers 3 4-5 13; C. Clegg 2 0-0 4; Gill 4 0-0 8; Jackson 2 0-2 25; Mellette 4 3-5 11. Totals 17 9-14 67. UP: B. Brown 1 2-2 4; Brabham 1 5-7 6; Henderson 6 3-3 15; M. McNeill 1 0-0 2; J. Smith 2 0-0 7; Toomer 9 3-4 21. Totals 20 13-16 56. Three-point goals - SL: 8 (Chalmers 1, Jackson 7) ; UP: 1 (J. Smith)
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