The Spartan men bounced back Friday night against Wilmington Christian Academy, beating them on the road at Hiede Trask.
The Spartans played a close game, escaping with the narrow victory 54-46.
The Spartans took command at the start of this match up, and with 14 on the scoreboard to end the first quarter, they held a two point lead. Wilmington went for 12, but turned it around in the second taking control of the game.
While they did get control, the Spartans did just enough to hold on to their small lead by the end of the period. Going for 13, Wilmington was the better team on offense and defense as well. Allowing Union only 12 points this go around, Wilmington Christian still didn’t do enough to steal the lead. By halftime, Union was ahead by a point with the score as close as it could get at 26-25.
Union set themselves up for the win with their overall performance in the third quarter. Scoring the most points in the third than they would the entire night it built separation from Wilmington. They amassed 20 points and with outstanding defense they doubled the Patriots offensive production. Being permitted only 10 points they fell behind big going into the fourth 46-35.
The Patriots recovered in the final period outplaying the Spartans again like in the second quarter. Fortunately for Union, they were only outplayed by two points, scoring eight to Wilmington’s 10. With the clock reaching the final buzzer the Spartans barely hang on to take the eight point win.
Points came from everywhere with Derrick Smith leading the bunch once again with 15 points. Jaevon Vann played well again finishing behind Smith with 13. Matthew Ballance also had a big game going for 10, with Tyler Murphy rounding out the lead scorers with seven.
With this win they increase their overall record to 4-8 and will hit the court again, at home, Tuesday taking on North Duplin in conference play.
Reach Michael Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us of Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.