Vikings Bounce Eagles
The Union Pines boys’ basketball team found the right remedy to shake off their season-opening loss to Terry Sanford by traveling to East Montgomery Tuesday.
In a game that went back-and-forth for most of the first half, the Vikings used a 15-6 run during the third period, building a 10-point lead and then held off the Eagles for a 59-53 victory.
In fact, the Vikings used a pair of runs to defeat East Montgomery, the first a 14-2 run in the second period after the Eagles had a 10-0 run at the end of the first quarter and the first minute of the second period, building a 19-11 lead.
Then the Vikings switched to a half-court trapping defense, creating Eagle turnovers that Union Pines turned into points. Union Pines used the 14-2 run to grab a 25-21 lead with 3:48 left in the half.
“We went to the trap to try and speed things up and create turnovers and capitalized on them,” said Union Pines coach Nick Boney. “Matthew Maness did a good job of running the team. He’s been a starter for me since he was a sophomore. He runs things out on the court. (Armani) McCoy did a good job coming off the bench and scoring some points for us. Darin Carlyle did a good job on defense taking a couple of charges.
“They (East Montgomery) did a good job on the boards and we stressed to the team to box out better. We definitely need to work on boxing out on rebounds. It was good to get the win.”
The game started out with the two teams exchanging buckets before back-to-back baskets by sophomore Malik Crawford gave the Vikings an 11-9 lead with 2:54 left in the first period. The Eagles scored the next eight points of the quarter for a 17-11 lead at the quarter’s end. East scored on their first possession of the second quarter completing a 10-0 run and a 19-11 lead.
McCoy and Maness’ back-to-back treys ignited the Vikings’ 14-2 run over the next three minutes of the period to create the 25-21 advantage.
After an Eagles’ timeout, East outscored Union Pines 5-2 to pull to within one point as the half ended.
The two teams swapped buckets to start the second half when the Vikings went on their 15-6 run that included back-to-back three-pointers from Maness. The run gave the Vikings their biggest lead of the game at 44-34.
The Eagles’ Andrew Lancaster hit on a trey in the final minute of the third quarter to pull his team to within seven points as the teams entered the final frame.
The Eagles scored the first six points to open the fourth quarter, narrowing the Vikings’ lead to 44-43 with 6:53 left in the contest. Once again Maness did his magic with back-to-back three-pointers to put his team back up by seven points. East once again staged a run outscoring the visitors 8-2 to cut the lead to one point on Lancaster’s second trey of the game.
Union Pines scored the next six points with a pair of buckets by Mike Quick sandwiched around a basket by Shakeem McRae, giving the Vikes a 58-51 lead with 44 seconds left in the game. East Montgomery would score on a pair of foul shots while McRae hit one of two foul shots for the final 59-53 margin.
Maness led the Vikings with 18 points, all from behind the arc. Crawford followed with 12 points, McCoy nine, McRae seven, Tyler Packer five, Luke Davis four, Jeff Thompson two and Dionte Williams two.
Ahmad Baldwin paced the Eagles with 10 points.
Union Pines 11 18 17 15 — 59
East Montgomery 17 9 11 16 — 53
Union Pines: Maness 6 0-0 18; Crawford 6 0-1 12; McCoy 4 0-0 9; McRae 3 1-2 7; Packer 2 0-0 5; Davis 2 0-1 4; Williams 1 0-0 2; Thompson 1 0-0 2. Totals - 25 1-4 59.
East Montgomery: Baldwin 4 1-2 10; Lancaster 3 1-2 9; Little 2 7-10 9; Reza 2 2-2 7; Robinson 3 1-2 7; Scott 3 0-0 6. Total - 17 12-18 53
Three-point goals: UP 8 (Maness 6, Packer 1, McCoy); EM 5 (Lancaster 2, Reza 1, Baldwin 1, Little 1).
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