Bulldogs Handle Union Pines Girls
The Union Pines girls’ basketball squad had an ugly outing in its season opener Monday, dropping a 58-25 decision to the Terry Sanford Bulldogs in Cameron.
Through one quarter of action at Bob Ward Gymnasium, the Lady Vikings trailed 16-2. With 4:12 seconds left in the second quarter, that margin soon swelled to 26-3 in favor of 4-A Terry Sanford, which used an athletic and diverse nine-man rotation to overwhelm Union Pines on its way to a decisive and impressive nonconference victory.
After the game Viking head coach John Lewkowicz characterized his young team as one concerned with gaining experience, learning on the fly, and constantly striving to be better and not one so much focused on the final scores at this point in the season.
“Terry Sanford was a very good team,” said Lewkowicz. “We didn’t get off to the start we needed, and before we knew it we were down 10-0. So that put us behind real quick. From there nerves starting playing a factor and from there we started pressing.
“At halftime I told the girls that what we are trying to do is get better and to not lock into that score. Our objective in coming out of the locker room was to go back out there in the second half and work on our game.”
Of the Vikings starting lineup, senior captain guard Dasia McCrimmon was a regular starter a season ago. Junior captain Lexie Coxe did start some games down the stretch and got the nod in the game along with first time varsity starters, as well as players, in sophomores MaRisa Smith and Charlotte Holder, along with freshman Stephanie Johnson.
On the night 10 Bulldogs got in the scoring column, while six notched five or more rebounds.
Pacing Terry Sanford in the tilt was starting sophomore point guard Courtney Roulhac with 11 points, six assists, three steals and two rebounds, and the senior front court duo of Ny’Asia King and Shaniqua Bowman. King finished with six points, five rebounds and two blocks, while Bowman scored five points, grabbed nine boards and doled out three assists.
Leading Terry Sanford’s second unit was the point guard-small forward-center underclassman trio of freshman Brianna Magee, sophomore Lateria Johnson and freshman Ona Udoh. Magee managed to collect five rebounds and four points on top of seven assists running the offense, while Johnson led the team in scoring with 12 points to go along with five rebounds. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-3 Udoh proved to be a powerful force down low on her way to eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks. By night’s end the Bulldog bench had accounted for 28 points.
Conversely Union Pines had trouble scoring the ball consistently in any part of its half-court offense. Of the Vikings 25 points, eight came off of offensive rebounds, while the remainder was scored from the free-throw line, on deep jumpers or on fast breaks in transition. Absent from the Vikings’ arsenal was any viable post play.
One obvious reason for Union Pines disjointed offensive display was the absence of junior captain Tiffany Hicks from the lineup because of a dislocated left knee incurred last week during a scrimmage at Northwood.
The highest returning scorer and rebounder from a season ago, the 6-foot Hicks averaged 7.4 points and 8.1 rebounds an outing as a sophomore. According to Lewkowicz, Hicks has been treated by physicians, and her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is not damaged, but he and his junior leader are still awaiting MRI results for a full diagnosis.
Regardless of those results, Lewkowicz feels Hicks will be out of the Viking lineup for an extended period of time and could miss the entire season because of the injury.
Coxe led the way for Union Pines on the night with eight points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Johnson tallied four points and seven rebounds in her Lady Viking basketball debut.
“We are not talking about Ws and Ls right now,” said Lewkowicz. “What we are really focused on is coming out, executing and getting better.”
Union Pines (0-1) was back in action Tuesday in Biscoe against 1-A East Montgomery for a nonconference tilt. The Vikings return to the hardwood Tuesday, Nov 27.
Terry Sanford 16 12 15 15 — 58
Union Pines 2 5 11 7 — 25
Terry Sanford: Johnson 5 2-2 12, Roulac 4 2-2 11, Udoh 4 0-2 8, King 2 1-2 5, McKinnon 2 0-0 4, Alphin 1 2-4 4, Magee 1 1-2 4,I. Okons 1 0-1 2, Brown 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 8-17 58.
Union Pines: Coxe 3 0-0 8, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Smith 2 0-1 4, Holder 1 0-1 2, B. Daley 1 0-0 2, R. Breasseale 0 2-4 2, S. Ring 1 0-0 2, McCrimmon 0 1-2 1. Totals 10 3-8 25
Three-point goals: (TS) 2 (Roulac, Magee); (UP) 2 (Coxe 2).
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