U.P Girls Top Douglas Byrd
The Union Pines girls blitzed Douglas Byrd 63-27 a Friday Cape Fear Valley Conference basketball game at Bob Ward Gymnasium.
Spurred on by phenomenal performance from captains Crystal Hicks and Tyesha McLean, the Lady Vikings improved to 14-2 on the season with their fifth-straight victory.
A senior and four-year starting point guard at Union Pines, McLean finished with 19 points, six assists, five steals and four rebounds Friday, while Hicks had six points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals.
After the game, Viking head coach John Lewkowicz had high words of praise for both of his captains.
“I just spoke about this in the locker room,” Lewkowicz said, “and I want to restate it now. I think we have great captains. Crystal and Tyesha are just natural leaders — they do it in practice, they do it in the locker room, they do it on the floor — and are just really good team leaders. Plus they have a great chemistry as a pair and work well as a duo during battle on the court.”
The win also moved Union Pines’ league record to 5-1 at the midpoint of the CFVC season. The Vikes remained tied atop the standings — at worst — pending the result of Friday’s Westover Western Harnett game. Westover defeated Union Pines earlier this season and has the tiebreaker over the Lady Vikings.
While the Lady Vikes missed three days of schools this week due to the snow, they opened Friday’s league tilt on a torrid pace, taking an early 14-0 lead. After leading 27-10 at the halftime, Union Pines extended its advantage to 45-14 through three periods of play. Lewkowicz was able to empty his bench during the final frame.
“Everybody got to get out there on the court tonight and play some good minutes, which is always nice,” Lewkowicz said. “So I am very pleased we were able to get back on the court and pick up this win.”
While Lewkowicz felt the Vikings took some time to shake off the rust in terms of execution, he did admit his girls were anything but cold from the field in their first game back to action in eight days.
“We only had one practice in the last week, so our play was sporadic tonight,” said Lewkowicz. “I thought we played well in intervals in the first half, but then came out really strong in the second half. We shot the ball extremely well as a team, and took good looks too, which helps.”
Also finishing in double figures for the Vikings were sophomore Tyler Ross and senior guard Tashi Whitney. Ross posted a 13-point, 14- rebound double-double on the night, while Whitney had 11 points, seven steals and three assists.
Natalie Jones led the Eagle effort with 11 points, three steals and three assists.
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
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