Hoke Defeats Lady Vikings
The Union Pines Lady Viking basketball team lost 48-36 to Hoke County Friday in the semifinals of the Lee County Holiday Classic in Sanford.
Trailing 14-10 through one quarter of action at the Main Gym at Lee County High School, turnovers and foul trouble plagued the Vikes in the second period.
Union Pines committed five turnovers in the final five minutes of the first half.
Hoke County took a 27-16 lead at the break. The Lady Bucks closed the second period on a 12-2 run to hold an 11-point advantage at halftime, while the Union Pines front court duo of 6-foot freshman center Stephanie Johnson and sophomore 5-10 power forward Charlotte Holder each had three personal fouls apiece by intermission.
When action resumed in the third quarter Union Pines fell behind quickly by a tally of 32-16.
From there Johnson scored six points, grabbed five boards, blocked a shot and made two steals.
Her effort, along with a three-pointer by senior captain Lexie Coxe on an assist from Johnson with 14 seconds to go in the stanza, helped keep the Vikings within striking distance as they trailed 38-27 through three quarters of action.
Union Pines trimmed the deficit to 38-31 early in the fourth period as Johnson continued to turn in a dominate display on both ends of the court.
Through the first three minutes of the final quarter Johnson made two steals, snatched four boards, tallied two blocks and scored four points.
The 4-A Bucks (3-8) managed to close out the game on a 10-5 run as the duo of junior point guard Courtney Pate and junior small forward Shanice Horne went to work.
Pate led the way for Hoke on the evening with 15 points, four steals, four assists and three rebounds. Horne tallied 13 points, eight boards, two steals and four assists in the tilt.
Joining the pair in double digits for the Bucks was sophomore forward Symone Thompson with 12 points.
Johnson finished with a 15-point, 14-rebound double-double for Union Pines to go along with six blocks, five steals and two assists. Freshman point guard Maris Smith chipped in eight points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Union Pines (6-7) arrived in the semifinal round with a 41-38 win to open the tourney over Chatham Central on Thursday.
Johnson led the way for the Vikes in that tilt as well with 18 points, 13 rebounds, nine steals and five blocks. Smith also hit double figures in the opening-round tourney game with 10 points.
The Vikes closed out their run in the tournament Saturday afternoon against Northwood in the third-place game.
Union Pines returns to action Friday, Jan. 4, against 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference rival Southern Lee at 6 p.m. in Cameron.
Union Pines 10 6 11 9 — 36
Hoke County 14 13 11 10 — 48
Union Pines: Johnson 6 3-6 15, Smith 4 0-1 8, L. Coxe 2 0-2 5, C. Holder 0 2-6 2. A. Jackson 0 4-4 4, D. McCrimmon 1 0-0 2, R. Breasseale 0 0-1 0. Totals 13 9-20 36.
Hoke County: Pate 4 7-9 15, Horne 4 5-7 13, Thompson 5 2-4 12, T. Dixon 1 1-2 3, K. Smith 1 0-0 3, T. Spellers 1 0-0 2, S. Dawson 0 0-4 0. Totals 16 15-26 48.
Three-point goals: Union Pines 1 (Coxe); Hoke County 1 (Smith).
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