Vike Girls Set the Stage for First-Place Showdown
Union Pines dismantled Gray’s Creek Friday en route to a 51-19 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference basketball victory on Hall of Fame Night at Bob Ward Gymnasium.
With the win, the Lady Vikings improved to 14-5 on the season and 8-1 in CFVC play. Currently in second place in the league standings, Union Pines’ blowout victory set the stage for a critical conference showdown Tuesday in Cameron against first-place Southern Lee.
After the game Vikings head coach John Lewko-wicz said, “Well we did it — we made it through to have another chance versus Southern Lee.
“Tuesday is one of those situations, where we have to get this ball game to get into a tie. So this is our one shot if we want to win the league title. I commended our girls just a few minutes ago because as a team they did what it took to put themselves in a position to play this game and have it really mean something.”
The Southern Lee Cavaliers (16-2) will enter Tuesday’s conference tilt in Cameron undefeated in league play at 8-0. In their first meeting with Union Pines, the Cavs managed to come out on top of a double overtime barn-burner with a 49-45 victory in Sanford. Later in the season Union Pines returned the favor, defeating Southern Lee 56-49 during the second round of the Yellow Jacket Christmas Classic.
“This is what you start the season for,” Lewkowicz said. “It is your goal to have a shot at the league championship and we get one good shot at it and ours is Tuesday. We have had two good ball games with Southern Lee, so there are no secrets. They are having a fantastic year but this is our shot and we want to go into this matchup and just give it everything we have.”
Union Pines certainly seemed to give it everything they had Friday, as the Vikings held the visiting Bears scoreless in the first quarter to take a 5-0 lead. The home team outscored Gray’s Creek 15-3 in the second frame to carry a 20-3 lead into the locker room at intermission.
Viking junior guard Dasia McCrimmon scored six of her 10 points on the night in the first half.
“During practice on Thursday we worked a lot on moving the ball around without dribbling,” McCrimmon said. “I think that helped us a lot on the offensive end tonight. We moved it around well out there, and also had lots of off the ball movement which allowed us to get some good looks on cuts to the basket and on the perimeter.
“With this win we are so excited to have Southern Lee coming to town Tuesday. We treated this as a prep game for Southern Lee and we have been working hard to get this chance. Now that we have done that we are going to work hard in practice Monday, and come out strong Tuesday — we are ready for it.”
Union Pines kept the defensive intensity dialed up in the third quarter against Gray’s Creek (2-12, 0-7) to lead the tilt 37-9 through three periods of play.
Senior captain Crystal Hicks turned in another of her trademark performances, scoring a team-high 16 points for the Vikes to go along with eight rebounds, six steals and six assists.
Joining McCrimmon and Hicks in double figures for Union Pines was junior captain Tyler Ross, who scored 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for her 18th double-double of the season.
The home showdown with Southern Lee is set to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Gray’s Creek 0 3 6 10 — 19
Union Pines 5 15 17 14 — 51
Gray’s Creek: King 2 0-0 4, Williams 1 1-3 4, Galloway 1 1-6 3, Chavis 1 0-0 2, Garner 0 2-4 2, Taylor 1 0-5 2, Toree 1 0-0 2. Totals 7 4-18 19.
Union Pines: C. Hicks 7 0-0 16, Ross 4 4-4 12, McCrimmon 5 0-0 10, T. Hicks 3 0-0 6, Coxe 1 0-0 3, McCoy 1 0-0 2, Carr 0 2-2 2. Totals 21 6-6 51.
Three-point goals: GC 1 (Williams); UP 3 (C. Hicks 2, Coxe).
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