Surviving a furious fourth quarter, the Union basketball Lady ’Cats held off Washington Friday night, 58-49.
“Our kids had great composure when Washington came back to tie the game” said Union Head Coach Grant Young. “Many kids would panic by taking quick shots or rushing the offense. We stayed very patient and executed plays and finished late game free throws to jump back to a 11-point margin late.”
Despite trailing by a big deficit early in the game, the Lady Jays fought back and tied it in the fourth quarter.
“We settled down and worked our way back into the game and eventually tied the game a few times in the fourth quarter,” Washington Head Coach Adam Fischer said. “After we tied it at 45, Union went on a quick six- or eight-point run and we never recovered.”
Fischer credited Union for working from start to finish.
“Coach Young and his team were well prepared and fought for the entire 32 minutes,” Fischer said. “Our slow start cost us to waste a lot of energy to tie the game, and we never really recovered from wasting that energy. I am very proud of my team for never giving up and fighting back. It’s very easy to just quit when you are on the road, but we refused to do that. That credit goes all to the girls on my team.”
Both Union (13-4) and Washington (9-8) started play Monday in the Borgia Tournament. Those games can be found elsewhere in this section.
The game was the second meeting of the season between the teams, who played in the consolation game of the Union Tournament Jan. 10 (also won by Union).
“This game was almost identical to the last time we played Union except both teams scored more points,” Fischer said.
While the game took place at the same time as the Union Boys Tournament semifinals, the girls game was played in the old gym at Union High School.
But the girls game against longtime rivals was anything but a second stage.
Union jumped out on top with a 13-4 first quarter.
“Union did a great job coming out at the start of the game and getting a quick 8-0 lead on us,” Fischer said.
“Washington never gave up,” Young said.
Washington rallied in the second quarter, but Union was able to not only keep pace, but add to the advantage. Union held a 30-16 lead after one half of action.
Washington rallied in the third quarter. The Lady Jays outscored Union, 18-7, to cut Union’s advantage to 37-35 after three quarters.
Union was able to secure the win in a wild fourth quarter, outscoring the Lady Jays, 21-14.
Senior Whitney Vitt led the Lady ’Cats in scoring with 20 points. She hit five three-point baskets in the game and added four rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and two steals.
“Whitney had a big game outside for us,” Young said. “She was 5-6 from beyond the arc and really sparked our offense.”
Sophomore Bethany Coons came through with 17 points, scoring 11 from the free-throw line. She also added four assists, two rebounds and two steals.
“Bethany has a great knack for attacking the basket and getting contact to get to the line,” Young said. “Her percentages keep increasing from the stripe and she went 11-14.”
Senior Rachael Bassett came close to a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. She also had one steal.
“Rachael saw only about 21 minutes of game time due to back tightness,” Young said. “Rachael, however, is a gamer. No matter the illness or injury she will sacrifice for her team and give everything she has got in the tank.”
Senior Alyssa Coons scored five points with five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Junior Megan Altemueller scored three points and added one rebound and one steal.
Senior Abbie Brack scored three points with three rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Also playing for Union were junior Kaila AuBuchon, junior Anna Houston, senior Jill Johnston (two rebounds, one blocked shot) and senior Briana Lakebrink (one assist, one rebound).
Washington was led by junior Courtney Kedroski. She netted 22 points while hitting six three-point baskets. Kedroski also had six rebounds and two steals.
“Kedroski caught on fire the second half making four threes in the third quarter,” said Young. “We went to a box-and-one and had Abbie guard her fourth quarter which caused her to really work harder for open shots.”
Senior Kaitlin Evans scored 10 points and added six rebounds and one assist.
Senior Kirstie Leslie scored seven points while adding eight rebounds and a steal before fouling out.
Freshman Paige Carpenter scored five points while adding three assists, one rebound and one turnover.
Junior Megan Bauche scored two points with four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Freshman Katie Trigg scored two points.
Senior Helena Ballmann netted one point with five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Junior Alex Ready added four assists and a steal.