For Union’s JV Spartans, it was a tale of two halves Friday night when the 1A team took on 2A county rival Clinton. The Horses won the game, 61-50, but Union had a strong showing in the third period that put them back into the game.
Spartan coach Bryant Register tipped his hat to Clinton after the game. “I congratulate coach Lamb and his team for a well-played game. They are a tremendous basketball squad.”
But Register had good things to say about his young team, too, particularly singling out their play in the second half.
“Honestly, I was disappointed in our effort and intensity in the first half. They were beating us on transition and on the boards. We just weren’t playing the way I know this team can play,” Register said.
Clinton jumped out to an early lead and held onto it, ending the first period 19-12. Then, the visitors broke it open in the second period, going into the half up 40-23.
But Register said he saw a different team when his Spartans returned to the floor after the break. “They were playing like I knew they were capable of playing.”
Down nearly 20 points, Union went on a run, making transition baskets and inching closer to Clinton. By the end of the third period the score was 51-38 in the Dark Horses’ favor.
Union continued its pace in the fourth period, closing the gap even more, but the stronger Horses kept enough distance to take the 11-point win.
“I was very pleased with the way we closed the game,” Register stressed. “Clinton is a very athletic team and they can really hurt you with their speed. I thought, overall, we did a good job keeping pace with them.”
Leading scoring for the JV Spartans was Jamar Newkirk with 14. Also scoring was Christian Boykin, 13; Brandon Johnson, 9; Jawan Newkirk, 8; Traquan Peterson, 4; and JaVonte Henry, 2.
The loss moves Union’s record to 1-2 overall.
“It’s back to work for us Monday,” Register stressed. “We’ve got to get ready for our Tuesday game with East Bladen.”
Game time is 4:30 at Union.