Bouncing back from their first Four Rivers Conference defeat, the Union Lady ’Cats finished 2012 on a winning note last Thursday.
Union (8-3, 2-1) won last Thursday at New Haven (6-4, 0-3), 44-40.
“New Haven is a tough place to play but so much fun with all the basketball tradition that is seen everywhere in the school,” Union Head Coach Grant Young said. “The basketball pride alone gives them an eight-point lead before the tip and then you face the defense.”
New Haven Head Coach Doug Peirick said his team struggled with controlling rebounds.
“I thought our defense was good and we were able to keep them from getting to the basket in their dribble drive offense for the most part, but we gave up too many offensive rebounds when they shot the ball from the perimeter,” Peirick said.
New Haven led after one quarter, 9-4, but Union came back to tie it at the intermission, 19-19.
Young cited Abbie Brack for playing a big role with helping Union tie the game at the intermission.
“Abbie had a big game going 3-4 from three-point range with a huge momentum three to tie the game at 19 going into halftime.”
Union took a one-point advantage after three quarters, 29-28, and added three more points to the margin in the fourth quarter.
“Alyssa Coons hit a big three to give us a five-point lead in the fourth quarter.”
Peirick said New Haven traded fouls and free throws for possessions in the fourth quarter.
“We had to foul late and they made enough free throws down the stretch to keep us from catching them,” Peirick said. “We didn’t shoot any free throws in the game and that was probably the biggest dissappointment. We didn’t attack the basket from the inside to cause them to foul us.”
Young said Union had a two-part strategy in place to win the game.
“We had two goals which we thought could get us an FRC victory,” Young said. “First was to eliminate the second chances of New Haven. We only wanted to give up 7 offensive rebounds. Second was to execute offensively since they were going to only give us one chance each trip.”
Senior Rachael Bassett recorded a double-double in the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“Rachael always gets our team going,” said Young. “When we need a big basket she finds a way. In my 14 seasons as a head coach she is by far the best back-to-the-basket post player I have had the chance to coach. Her awareness to find the open spot sealing inside and finishing while only being 5-10 shows her pride in her play.”
Rachel Steinhoff led New Haven with 19 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Kiersten Monzyk scored seven points while adding two assists, one rebound and one steal.
Emily Kallmeyer (nine rebounds, three assists and two steals), Kayla Meyer (four rebounds and a steal) and Megan Shockley (two rebounds) each scored four points.
Stephanie Scheer netted two points. Stephanie Gerling contributed two assists and a rebound.
Union is idle until Jan. 3 when Jefferson High School visits. Junior varsity action begins at 6 p.m. that night.
“I’m really proud of the kids learning the new system and playing together to take an 8-3 overall record, 2-1 in the conference, into Christmas break.”
Young said the younger teams have done very well as well.
“Our JV won 47-32,” Young said. “The JV team, coached by Colin Flynn and assisted by Tracy Jeffries, is 9-2 and our freshmen, coached by Nick Kelley, are 6-1.”
Young credited New Haven.
“Even though New Haven is 0-3 in the conference, they are still a very good team,” Young said. “The Four Rivers has phenomenal talent throughout the league. Steinhoff is one of those special guards you wish you had.”