Cavs Swamp Vikings
For the second time this week the Union Pines boys’ basketball team found itself in an early hole while playing in a hostile environment Friday in Sanford.
While the Vikings were able to erase an 18-point first-half deficit Wednesday en route to pulling off a 74-66 road victory against Gray’s Creek, another comeback bid was not in the cards as the homestanding Southern Lee Cavaliers cruised to a 66-48 league victory.
Behind a nine-point, six-rebound effort from senior big man Josh Mellette, the home team jumped out to a 16-7 lead through one quarter. Junior captain Matthew Maness had five of the Vikes’ first-quarter points.
Then, in the second quarter, Southern Lee’s speedy senior point guard Ace Chalmers found his stride as he tallied eight points, two steals and three assists. The result was a 35-20 halftime lead for the Cavaliers. Mellette led all scorers at intermission with 14, to go along with nine boards. The Vikes were paced by an eight-point second quarter from Parris Manning.
Through the opening two quarters of play in the league tilt, Union Pines totaled just six field goals, for 13 points, while going seven of 12 from the charity stripe. Conversely, the Cavs connected on 14 field-goal attempts, including five tries from downtown.
As the action picked back up in the second half, Union Pines continued to struggle against the Cavaliers’ tough man-to-man defense, especially from the perimeter. All the Vikes’ points from the field during the third quarter came in the paint, via two buckets down low from Shakeem McRae, a rim-rattling dunk from Braxton Ross and an offensive board by Dionte Williams.
Meanwhile, Southern Lee remained hot from the field. The Cavs also turned three Union Pines’ turnovers into baskets in the frame. Through three periods, the Vikings had committed 12 turnovers and trailed 52-31.
Throughout the final quarter, the margin hovered around a comfortable 20-point range for the Cavaliers. Southern Lee forward Joshua Lee scored eight of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter. His final field goal of the frame gave the Cavaliers a commanding 64-42 lead at the 1:49 mark.
From there, both head coaches cleared their benches as the final outcome of the game was plainly decided.
Mellette joined Lee in double figures for the Cavs, finishing the night with a 19-point, 15-rebound double-double, on top of four assists, three blocks and three steals. Chalmers joined the tandem with 12 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.
The Vikings were led in scoring by a 12-point performance from Maness. Ross finished with 11 points, nine boards, three blocks and three assists, while Manning tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds and six assists
Southern Lee moved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in league play, while Union Pines dropped to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in CFVC action with the loss. The Vikings are off until after Christmas, when they hit the court in Sanford for the annual Chatlee Holiday Shootout that starts Dec. 27 at Lee County High School.
Union Pines 7 13 11 17 — 48
Southern Lee 16 19 17 14 — 66
Union Pines: Maness 4 3-4 12, Ross 4 3-4 11, Manning 3 4-9 10, McRae 4 0-0 8, Davis 0 2-2 2, Chalmers 1 0-0 2, Williams 1 0-0 2, Brower 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 13-21 48.
Southern Lee: Lee 8 4-5 22, Mellette 8 1-2 19, Chalmers 5 1-4 12, Jackson 4 0-0 9, Ingram 1 0-0 2, Hewitt 1 0-0 2, McKinnon 0 0-2 0. Totals 27 6-13 66.
Three-point goals: (UP) 1 (Maness); (SL) 6 (Mellette 2, Lee 2, Chalmers, Jackson).
Contact F.W. Manning II at firstname.lastname@example.org
More like this story