HSBK-W-Union Pines v 71st - 2021 Cumberland Co. Holiday Classic

Union Pines forward Aaliyah Balser (21) dribbles up the court against Seventy-First High School in the opening round of the 2021 Cumberland County Holiday Classic Thursday. Balser recorded another double-double in the loss to South View Friday.

The Union Pines girls’ basketball team fell late  to South View, 53-45, in the consolation round of the Cumberland County Holiday Classic Friday.

Despite key turnovers and stops on defense the Vikings (6-4) could not stop the Tigers inside scoring opportunities as South View (3-4) held on for the win.

The Vikings were able to keep it close early in the first half, but the Tigers could not be stopped, holding the Vikings to just 15 points and racking up 32 to end the half. Senior leadership played a key role in the second half comeback as the Vikings fought their way back from being down 15 points at the half and making it an eight-point game heading into the fourth quarter, going on a 15-8 run to end the third. In the fourth, despite the Vikings finding something, the Tigers were able to answer back and hold on late for the victory.

“It’s good to know that we can fight back, but we got to work on not waiting till the second half to get something going, especially playing against good teams," Union Pines coach Anissa Little said. “When you’re playing a tournament, you got to be mentally prepared, and we were not tonight."

Aaliyah Balser led the Vikings finishing with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Sarah Adams followed up with 16 points. Other key Viking highlights were Gianna Silvestri finishing with 13 rebounds and dishing out six assists. Taryn Pekala was a defensive leader finishing with seven steals.

The Vikings will play Jack Britt in the seventh-place game tomorrow in the Cumberland County Holiday Classic at Terry Sanford High School. Tip-off is set for 10:30 a.m.

“We got to mentally prepared because its hard to beat a team twice and their going to come ready to play and I think we are a better team since then and we got to focus on starting off good and not waiting”. Little said on facing Jack Britt tomorrow.

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