Vikings Trample 'Stangs
One night removed from a lopsided loss, the Union Pines boys’ basketball team returned home and flipped the script Wednesday with a 60-21 victory over North Moore.
The Vikings (4-1) began the week Tuesday in Rockingham by dropping their first contest of the season 71-36 to 4-A Richmond Senior.
Wednesday it was all Union Pines in the nonconference cross-county clash at Bob Ward gym in Cameron.
Despite being without the services of their top-two scorers in senior swingman Parris Manning and junior guard Braxton Ross, the Vikings took a 12-6 lead through one quarter and pushed the margin to 28-10 by intermission.
Manning was out because of an ankle injury he sustained last Friday at East Montgomery and, according to Vike head coach Nick Boney, is expected to miss another week to 10 days. Ross was dressed but did not play because of a coach’s decision.
Boney felt the way the schedule had his squad playing on back-to-back nights worked in his team’s favor as Wednesday was the Vikes’ last tune-up before beginning league play.
“After you get blown out, like we did at Richmond, you don’t usually get a chance to play the very next day,” said Boney. “So I was wondering how my guys would respond, and I thought they responded well. We still have some areas where we need to work on, but all-in-all to turn around after the way we got beat like we did last night and put forth a strong effort makes me very proud of this team as a coach.”
In a forgettable effort, the visiting Mustangs did not do much to help their cause. North Moore turned the ball over 14 times in the first half. The Mustangs scored four points, while committing nine turnovers in the second quarter.
Things did not improve much for the visitors when the second-half action started. The Mustangs added six turnovers to their total-game tally of 25. Meanwhile, an eight-point effort by Viking junior forward Dionte Williams helped stretch the home team’s lead to 49-17 through three quarters of play.
“It was nice to get right back on the court and get a ‘W,’” said Williams, who grabbed a game-high nine boards in the game. “We just had to keep our heads up and bounce back and play hard as a team.”
Vike senior captain Charles Steadwell echoed the thoughts Williams conveyed about the concept of playing as a “team.”
“We need to learn how to play together and compete every time we take the floor,” said Steadwell. “We did not compete in our last game, so it was good that we could change that around tonight. In the pre-conference portion of our season everybody has been stepping up, so if we can all come together as a team I like our chances in the league this year, because we are more confident and have better chemistry than last season.”
Steadwell finished with eight rebounds, two steals and two points on the night.
Union Pines’ Lashun Brower led all scorers in the tilt with 11 points, while Williams finished with 10 for the Vikes. Landon Auman scored a team-high six points for North Moore, which fell to 0-4 on the season with the loss.
The Vikings open their 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference campaign Friday in Cameron, when they host Douglas Byrd (1-4) at 7:30 p.m. Last season Union Pines went 3-9 in CFVC play to place seventh in the eight-team league.
The Mustangs, currently 0-3 in 1-A Yadkin Valley Conference play, host league foe Gray Stone Day (1-4, 1-2) Friday in Robbins at 7:30 p.m.
North Moore 6 4 7 4 — 21
Union Pines 12 16 21 11 — 60
North Moore: Auman 3 0-0 6, Davis 2 0-0 4, Marley 2 0-0 4, M. Person 1 1-4 3, M. Chisholm 1 0-0 2, Hunsucker 1 0-0 2, P. Chisholm 0 0-1 0. Totals 10 1-5 21.
Union Pines: Brower 5 1-2 11, Williams 5 0-0 10, S. McRae 3 2-2 8, Crawford 3 0-0 6, Maness 2 0-0 6, S. Davis 2 0-0 4, L. Davis 2 0-0 4, K. McRae 1 1-2 3, Packer 1 0-2 2, Steadwell 1 0-0 2, Quick 1 0-0 2, Chambers 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 4-8 60.
Three-point goals: (NM) 0 ; (UP) 2 (Maness 2).
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
More like this story