The Lady Spartans of Union suffered a heartbreaking loss in the first round of the conference tournament Monday. Struggling all night, they rallied against Rosewood late, but came up just short, 47-46.
“Tough loss for us tonight to end our season; not a lot went right for us for three quarters. We were in foul trouble, missed a lot of layups and short jumpers that we usually make. Even with things were not going well, our girls kept battling,” said Union head coach Bryant Register.
Not a lot going right for three quarters describes this game accurately. The Spartans couldn’t get anything going until the final quarter, failing to score in the double digits for three straight periods.
The first wasn’t dominated by Rosewood by any means, holding onto just a two-point lead, 9-7, by the end of the opening eight minutes.
The Eagles took command of the game, with Union only adding nine points in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Rosewood lit up the scoreboard with 16, the most they’d have in a quarter all game. With the first half coming to a close, the Spartans found themselves in a nine-point hole, the score 25-16.
Things didn’t improve for the red and white in the third quarter as they couldn’t find a way to get out off their slump. Mimicking the second period’s offense they went for nine yet again in the third. Rosewood dropped off slightly, but widened the gap, going for 13 to bring it to 38-25.
Then in the final frame Union came to life on offense and defense as they hung around just enough to give them a shot at tying the game. With the defense halting the Eagles’ offensive production, they held them to just nine in the fourth. Meanwhile, the Spartan offense roared, ripping off 21 and rallying from 14 down with three minutes left to play, they had a chance to tie the game. However, the game’s favor was not with them as they fell just short of making the hard fought comeback, going down by just a point.
“Our fourth quarter was unbelievable. We rallied from 14 down with three minutes to go and had a shot to tie the game at the end. Those last three minutes really defined our team this season in that we never gave up and kept battling until the very end,” said Register.
“It’s tough to say goodbye to four seniors that meant a lot to our program, but I’m really looking forward to working with our returning players and hoping they put the time and effort into helping make 2018-2019 a successful season,” he concluded.
LaTyra English led all scoring with 15 points. Kaia Johnson and NiKya Owens were behind her with nine apiece. Amaya Jackson finished with six, Justice Johnson had five and Lazarriah Johnson had two.
The Spartans ended the season averaging 39.5 points per game on 28 percent shooting from the floor. They grabbed 37.5 rebounds per game with 5.5 blocks and averaged 11.3 steals per game with 4.4 assists. Union’s season comes to an end with an overall record of 7-14.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.