The Hobbton Wildcat men and the Union Spartan men had a nail-bitter that kept the crowd yelling for their team, especially in the final minutes of the game. The Wildcats finally got the best of the Spartans, 45-41 in a game that saw the score or swapping of the lead several times in the final two minutes.
Union held a slight edge after the first quarter with a 7-4 lead. In the second quarter, Union had a couple of players disqualified due to an on-court altercation. The Wildcats took advantage outscoring the Spartans 9-4 to take a 13-11 lead into the half time break. The Spartans kept it close with the Wildcats having a one-point advantage at 23-22 after three quarters.
The game got really intense in the final quarter when Union went up 29-28 just under two minutes into the quarter giving them their first lead since the first quarter. From there, the game was tied and the lead changed several times. With 1:51 left the game was tied at 36 and Union took the lead at 38-36. Union held onto the lead until the 15 second mark when Omar Farrior went to the charity stripe for four foul shots, two on a foul and two on a technical foul.
He made three of four to take the lead at 42-41. In the final seconds, clutch free throws gave the Wildcats the win.
Offensively, Farrior lead the scoring with 18 points, Jared Gainey had 8 points and Dalyn Owens chipped in three.
For Union, Derrick Smith had 11, Cole Bass had nine, Paris Baker had six, Jaevion Van had five and Matthew Balance had four.
“It was a heck of a ball game tonight. After playing Midway last night, I didn’t know how our legs would be,” commented Hobbton coach Alphonza Hooper. “With our shooters, I don’t think our legs were there because we played a grueling game against Midway last night. I told our guys to keep fighting and keep playing, Union came in with a good game plan. It looked like they were more patient in their zone but we just kept playing.
“Sometimes wins are ugly; but, I’ll take it. Playing basketball is all about keeping your composure,” he continued. “I think they had a couple of kids that lost their composure with a couple of technicals. I’m so proud of my team getting our first win and first conference win. We have been having a problem shooting free throws; but, tonight we made them when it counted.”
“Our team is a very young team. They are still learning the game of basketball,” comment Union coach Colt Pierce. “They have to learn to keep a cooler head. They are racking up technicals left and right, they are being unsportsmanlike, and until we learn that, it’s going to be a long season. We are working on it. We are trying to get them, not just better basketball players, but better people all around.”
The 0-3 Union men play again Wednesday night at West Bladen. Hobbton, at 1-5, play again Thursday night hosting Heidi Trask in a game that was moved because of the winter weather threat Friday.
Also of note, the Union Spartans JV team were able to find success in a close clutch game that was determined by one point. They came away with the victory over the Wildcats 37-36.