Vike Girls Win Big, Boys Fall Hard
Things went pretty much as expected Tuesday in Sanford, as the Union Pines boys’ and girls’ basketball teams returned to Cape Fear Valley Conference roundball action at Southern Lee High School.
The Union Pines Lady Vikings overcame a cold start against Southern Lee to claim a 46-28 conference victory, while the Viking boys fell 64-38 to the homestanding Cavaliers, who remained alone atop the league standings with the win.
The win was the third straight for the Vike girls. They improved to 12-2 on the season and 4-1 in league play to remain tied for first place with Westover in the CFVC standings.
Vike head coach John Lewkowicz spoke after the game about his team’s return to league action after going 2-1 at the Chatlee Shootout in Sanford over the holiday break.
“Our defense was able to keep us in the game (early),” Lewkowicz said, “and then Kelly Campbell came in and hit a couple of threes to really kick start us.”
On the night, Union Pines tallied 15 steals and seven blocks. Meanwhile, with starting guard Tashi Whitney saddled with early foul trouble, Campbell provided a big boost off the bench to finish with six points, five assists and two steals.
After trailing 6-0 midway through the opening period, the Lady Vikes rattled off 19 unanswered points. The whirlwind run gave Union Pines a 23-13 lead over the Southern Lee Lady Cavs (2-3 in CFV) at intermission.
Both teams had a hard time connecting from the field in the third quarter. The Vikings took a 30-22 edge into the fourth period.
From there, Union Pines turned on the afterburners, delivering a 12-point run that extended its advantage to 42-22 with just over three minutes remaining in the games.
“We came out a bit flat in the third quarter,” Lewkowicz said, “but the girls started to move the ball around, continued to play well defensively and everything gelled from there.”
Junior captain Crystal Hicks turned in a strong outing Tuesday, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists.
Senior Cristina Morcom also helped the Vike cause with eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks. It was yet another solid showing for the Union Pines starting center.
The game marked the fifth straight game Morcom has tallied three or more blocks. Over that stretch she is averaging 6.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per contest.
Ross had six points, five rebounds, three steals and three blocks for Union Pines, while senior captain Tyesha McLean had nine points and four steals. Cavalier Yasmine Butler had seven rebounds, five assists and led Southern Lee in scoring with 11 points on the night.
Cavaliers Overpower U.P. Boys
The Cavalier boys opened the nightcap with an aggressive style on both ends of the court to capture an early 14-5 edge. After one period of play Southern Lee led 22-13.
A three-pointer by Vike swingman Parris Manning just before the buzzer made the score 36-23 in favor of Southern Lee at the half.
In the third frame, the Cavaliers (9-3, 5-0 CFV) managed to break the game open and took a 51-30 lead into the fourth quarter. Six minutes into the final frame, Union Pines had scored just 11 second-half points as Southern Lee’s lead had swelled to 64-34.
Although he did not make a point in the final two periods, Manning led the Vikings in scoring with 10 points. He also had five assists and four rebounds in the game. Vike Sophomore Braxton Ross finished the contest with eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
Cav guard Joshua Lee finished with a game-high 16 points.
Robert Richard, a 6-5 forward, had a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Cavaliers, while point guard Ace Chalmers finished with six points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals.
Union Pines dropped to 4-10 overall and 2-3 in CFVC play.
Both Viking teams closed the week on the road Thursday, against Red Springs, in a nonconference double header.
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