Lady Vikes Through to Title Tilt
The Lady Viking basketball team defeated Southern Lee 56-49 Wednesday in Sanford to land in the Yellow Jacket Christmas Classic championship game.
With the victory Union Pines avenged a 49-45 double-overtime loss it suffered to its 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference foe (Southern Lee) the week before Christmas.
After leading 10-9 through one quarter, the Vikings held a 20-16 halftime advantage in Wednesday's semifinal contest, played at Lee County High Schools Main gym. Southern Lee outscored Union Pines by five in the next frame, as the Lady Vikes trailed 35-34 through three quarters. However a 22-point fourth quarter from Union Pines resulted in a seven-point win and a place in Thursday's title game.
Junior captain Tyler Ross led the Vikings with a 24-point, 18 rebound double-double in the semifinal.
Hicks, who suffered a fractured nose in the Vikings CFVC loss to Southern Lee (8-2), sat out the first quarter of action. Still the senior UP captain managed to turn in a 16-point, seven-rebound, six-steal performance.
Hicks did not play any in the opening round of the tournament (formerly known as the Chatlee Shootout prior to this season) for Union Pines, but her younger sister, sophomore forward Tiffany Hicks, showed up in a major way.
The younger Hicks scored a career-high 20 points to lead the Vikings to a 51-37 win against 4-A East Chapel Hill. She also had 14 rebounds for a double-double to go along with three blocks. Ross turned in a gritty 18-point, 13-rebound, 4-steal effort Tuesday.
Union Pines led 28-23 at the half of Tuesday's first round, before closing the game on a 23-14 run to close the contest.
Northwood (7-1) will provided the opposition for Union Pines (8-2) in Thursday's championship game, which tips off at 6 p.m. on the court of the Main gym.
UP Boys Drop Third Straight
The Vikings fell by a 68-63 margin in overtime to the Cary Imps (7-7), Wednesday, in the Yellow Jacket Christmas Classic consolation bracket at Lee County's Packard Gym.
In Tuesday's opening-round game, Union Pines finished on the wrong end of a lopsided 64-36 loss to Green Hope.
At 5-5 on the season, the Vikings will wrap up the three-day tournament in the seventh-place game Thursday in Sanford at 2 p.m. back in Packard Gymnasium. Union Pines' opponent will be the loser of the other consolation bracket contest between the Lee County Yellow Jackets (1-8) and the Western Harnett Eagles (6-6).
Contact Frank W Manning II at email@example.com
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