UHRICHSVILLE - Union Local may have bowed out of the Division III sectional boys' basketball tournament at Claymont High School, but not without making a statement and thereby garnering some respect from Inter-Valley Conference foe Ridgewood.
The final score of 68-56 reflects a poor third quarter performance by the Jets, but considering the same Generals squad had closed out their regular season by defeating IVC powerhouse Garaway, 77-64, Friday night, it could be stated that Union Local had by comparison played beyond expectations.
The Jets made the statement early that this was not going to be a free pass for the number two seed Ridgewood running out to a 6-0 advantage to start the contest. The Jets would hold onto the lead through the first frame holding on 11-9. Relinquishing the front spot in the second frame as the Generals used transition buckets to move ahead 15-13.
Union Local’s Jacob Bailey draws the foul as Ridge-wood’s Zak Keesee attempts a block his path to the basket Thursday night in Uhrichsville in Division III
sectional tournament action.
"Turnovers killed us. We had 13 turnovers in the first half," said Union Local head coach Vaughn Butler. "Ridgewood is a good team and to still be in it after that many turnovers is a testimony to this team."
Union Local trailed just 24-23 as time was ticking off the clock in the second stanza when the thirteenth turnover resulted in a buzzer beater for the Generals.
The pivotal third quarter proved that Ridgewood was a versatile team as Zac Keesee and Dillon McPherson opened up the perimeter game for the Generals netting two treys apiece from long range.
"Our zone defense was working well in the first half and we thought we had a decent game plan," added Butler as the Jets struggled both defensively and offensively in the third period. "Offensively, we needed to finish, we needed to be stronger to the bucket and we just didn't get it done."
The Generals won the quarter 17-9 to take a 43-32 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Not ready to concede the defeat, Union Local came back strong in the final frame giving the fans a wild quarter on the hardwood scoring, 24 points. The Generals took advantage of a flurry of whistles in the stanza making good on 11 of 15 trips to the penalty stripe to hold off the offensive charge.
All told, the Jets committed 22 turnovers, pulled down 27 boards, shot 10 of 25 two-point, 8 of 20 three-point action shots and netted 12 of 16 free throws.
Jacob Bailey led the Jets with a double-double scoring 17 points with 10 rebounds. Gavin Porter and Kurtis Ogilbee both netted 10 points, while Tyler McGary had 9 points added 10 boards for Union Local.
Tanner Stoffer scored 20 points and Christian Grove added 19 for Ridgewood. The Generals advance to take on the winner of Garaway and Newcomerstown.
RIDGEWOOD (68) - Saylor 0, 3-4 3; Keesee 4, 2-2 12; McPherson 3, 3-4 11; Stoffer 7, 5-10 20; Grove 8, 3-6 19; Lowe 1, 1-2 3. Totals 23, 17-28. UNION LOCAL (56) - McGary 2, 4-4 9; Dunfee 0, 2-2 2; Porter 3, 3-3 10; Lattocha 3, 0-1 8; Jones 0, 0-0 0; Ogilbee 4, 0-0 10; Bailey 6, 3-6 17. Totals 18, 12-16.
Three Point Shots - Ridgewood 5 (Keesee 2, McPherson 2, Stoffer). Union Local (Bailey 2, Lattocha 2, Ogilbee 2, McGary, Porter).
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