Both Union basketball teams ended the regular season with 14-11 records and will get a shot at a Division 4-2A crown this week as they host the tournament starting on Tuesday.
The Union boys had an up-and-down week as they took a big 52-47 win over eventual 4-2A champion Philadelphia on Tuesday night before falling 53-43 to Newton on Friday night.
The Lady Jackets lost both of their games last week, falling 49-44 to Philadelphia and 65-34 to Newton.
The Union boys move to 14-11 on the season and will get a rematch with Newton on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. at Union in the semifinals of the 4-2A Tournament.
The Union girls are also 14-11 on the season and will play Philadelphia at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Consolation and championship games are set for Friday.
Newton boys 53, Union 43
The game was back and forth for the first three periods as Union led 10-7 at the end of the first and led by as many as seven at 25-18 with 1:05 left in the first half. But two straight baskets by Newton cut the lead to 25-22 at the half.
The Tigers used that momentum to open the second half on a 10-2 run to lead 32-27 with 2:57 left in the third and 34-31 at the end of the period.
After a quick basket by Casey Morris cut Union’s lead to 34-33, the Tigers went on a 10-0 run that was fueled by three offensive rebounds to give Newton a 44-33 lead with 4:07 left in the game.
“The main thing I preach to our team is we have to rebound and play defense,” Union coach Josh Luckett said. “If we don’t rebound the ball well, we aren’t going to win many games. That’s just us. We don’t have a lot of size, if we don’t rebound, we aren’t going to win many games. They got a couple of big rebounds from the free-throw line. It’s hard to win in a tough environment when you are giving up offensive rebounds. And they hit a couple of tough, contested shots at the same time. That’s just the stuff you go through when you give up offensive rebounds. But we will see them again next week.”
P.J. Gage led Union with 16 points while Casey Morris had 10 points.
Union boys 52, Philly 47
The Jackets jumped out to a quick lead and held on to take a five-point win over the Tornadoes on Tuesday night.
Union led 10-2 at the end of the first period and 24-12 at the half. After leading 35-21 at the end of the third, Union withstood a 27-point period by the Tornadoes to take the win.
J.T. Vance led Union with 16 points while Jay Norris had 10 points. Casey Morris had eight points while Jamarion Harmon and Micheal McDonald added six points apiece.
Stetson Moore had 27 for Philadelphia.
Newton girls 65, Union 34
The Lady Tigers had their way with the Lady Yellowjackets to sweep the season series o Friday night.
Newton had their way as they jumped out to an 8-2 lead and led 18-10 at the end of the first. The Lady Tigers continued to pull away as they outscored Union 21-10 in the second to lead 39-20 at the half. The Lady Tigers put the game away in the third, outscoring Union 18-6 to lead 55-26 after three.
Parker Breland led Union with 19 points.
Philly girls 49, Union 44
The Lady Jackets overcame a 10-point first-half deficit and led by five going into the fifth but ended up losing by five points on Tuesday night.
Philly jumped out to a 17-7 lead in the first period but Union responded by outscoring the Lady Tornadoes 18-8 in the second to tie the game at 25-25 at the half. Union gained the lead in the third as they outscored Philly 13-10 to take a 38-35 lead into the fourth. The Lady Tornadoes then outscored the Lady Jackets 14-6 to take the win.
Parker Breland led Union with 18 points while Ansley Rigby had 11 points and Mackenzie Dolan added eight points.