Douglas Byrd Rallies Past Vike Boys
The Union Pines boys’ basketball team squandered an early 12-point lead in its league opener Tuesday evening against Douglas Byrd in Fayetteville, falling 86-75 to the homestanding Eagles.
Union Pines came out running and gunning in the first quarter of the 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference contest, quickly building a 10-point lead less than three minutes into the game. By the 3:20 mark of the first quarter the Vikes lead was 16-4, as Union Pines seemed poised to take complete control of the action.
A 12-point Byrd run, spurred by five points, two steals, two assists and two rebounds from junior guard Bobby Bailey, neutralized the Vikings’ hot start. The flurry also provided the Eagles with lots of energy.
Vike senior captain Matthew Maness made three free throws with 2.3 seconds left in the frame to give his team a 19-16 lead, but the tide of the tilt was already turning the way of the home team.
Sophomore swingman Malik Crawford paced Union Pines with 16 first-half points, scoring eight in each of the first two periods. Maness finished the first half with 10 points, as the Vikings clung to a 36-34 lead at intermission.
Leading the way for Byrd at halftime was Bailey with nine points, while the junior front-court tandem of Jose Sanchez and Montez Samuels had six points apiece for the home team.
Despite an 18-point second half from Maness that included four makes from downtown, the Vikings were unable to keep pace with the Eagles. Byrd kept the tempo fast and furious through the final half of play in tallying 52 second-half points, including a 28-point fourth-quarter performance.
Byrd moved to 2-6 for the season with the victory and 1-0 in league play.
Each of the Eagles’ five starters all scored in double digits for the night and accounted for 73 of Byrd’s 86 total points.
Senior guard Andrew Murray scored seven of his team-high 17 points in the third quarter, while his junior backcourt mate Kendall Hillman scored nine of his 17 points on the night in the fourth period.
Bailey finished with 13 points from the point guard spot. Up front Sanchez scored 16 and Montez Samuels tallied 10.
Along with his game-high 28-point scoring effort, Maness also tallied eight assists and two steals. Crawford finished the game with 21 points, three steals, three boards and four assists.
Senior Dionte Williams led Union Pines with nine rebounds, followed by senior Shakeem McRae with seven.
The loss was the third straight for Union Pines, which fell to 3-4 on the season and 0-1 in league action. The Vikes return to the hardwood for a CFVC clash tonight (Friday) with Overhills (3-4, 0-1) at 7:30 p.m. in Spring Lake.
Union Pines 19 17 17 22 — 75
Douglas Byrd 16 18 24 28 — 86
Union Pines: Maness 9 5-8 28, Crawford 8 5-6 21, J. Thompson 3 1-2 7, T. Packer 2 0-0 5, A. McCoy 2 0-0 5, D. Williams 1 1-4 3, M. Quick 0 2-2 2, S. McRae 1 0-0 2, D. Carlyle 1 0-0 2, J. Poole 0 0-2 0. Totals - 27 14-22 75.
Douglas Byrd: Murray 5 6-8 17, Hillman 6 4-4 17, Sanchez 8 0-0 16, Bailey 6 0-2 13, Samuels 5 0-2 10, R. Wright 4 0-0 9, L. Johnson 1 0-0 2, E. Bulger 1 0-0 2. Totals - 36 10-16
Three-point goals: Union Pines 7 (Maness 5, Packer, McCoy); Douglas Byrd 4 (Murray, Hillman, Bailey Wright).
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