Call it a playcation.
Union’s boys and girls basketball teams are playing this week in the Branson Battle at the Border Tournament, a four-school round robin event which started Thursday.
The host school swept Union in games. Union’s boys (0-3) fell to Branson, 66-52, while Branson defeated Union’s girls, 69-40.
Union plays Lake Hamilton, Ark., Friday and Bolivar Saturday before returning home.
Despite losing, Union Head Coach Chris Simmons saw many positives in the 66-52 loss to Branson.
“We actually did a lot of good things tonight,” Simmons said. “We had spurts where we just didn’t play smart basketball that resulted in layups for them. It is almost impossible to overcome 22 turnovers. It was a three-point game midway through the third, but then we had a spurt of lackadaisical passes which led to leak outs and layups. We have to get mentally tougher and be able to execute, take smart shots, and take care of the ball as the game goes along.”
Trevor Kelly led Union in scoring with 20 points, including two three-point baskets. He was 6-10 from the free-throw line.
Peyton Burke was next with 12 points. He knocked down both of his free throws.
“Trevor and Peyton were excellent tonight,” said Simmons. “They did a great job of putting pressure on the paint and making plays for their teammates.”
Kale Crawford checked in with five points while Wil Strubberg, Chase Mehler and Blake Dickinson each scored four points. Derek Foster added three points.
Priscilla Williams, a 6-2 sophomore who moved to Branson from Houston, netted 30 points to lead the Lady Pirates past Union (1-2), 69-40.
“They’re ranked fourth in the preseason state poll (Class 5),” Union Head Coach Dusty Weiskopf said. “Williams is a future Division I player and she dropped 30 on us. We also played without Taylor Seely, who is injured.”
Kennedy Reeser scored 12 points to lead Union. Emily Gaebe was next with 11 points and Emily Webb scored six.
Other Union scorers were Kaylee Bunch with four points, Julia Overstreet with three and Haillie Brown and Megan Siedhoff with two points apiece.
“I think we can compete with Lake Hamilton today,” Weiskopf said. “We’re having a good trip so far.”