The Union Local Jets got off to a slow start but came through late in the fourth quarter to earn a hard-fought 61-54 decision over visiting Beallsville in the Hangar at Morristown Friday night.
Both squads would play the game minus a starter, but it would be the Blue Devils adjusting to the sixth man taking the early initiative as they outhustled their hosts to post a 14-9 advantage after the opening frame.
The Jets would trail through most of the next stanza as they slowly climbed their way back to altitude and finally evened the tally with just under a minute left in the first half at 26 apiece.
"It was an evenly-matched game," said Blue Devils first year head coach Casey Tolzda. "It was just a couple little things here and there that made the difference."
Though the Jets would outscore the Blue Devils 17-15 in the second quarter, Beallsville would land the final blow before the intermission to take a 29-26 lead into the break.
The two squads came out in the second half and battled back and forth duplicating their output from the second quarter 17-15 which would leave the hosts trailing by a single digit, 44-43, going into the final frame.
The two squads would again knot the contest at 54 apiece but Union Local would take control to close out the contest with 7 unanswered to garner the win.
"I was very pleased with the way we closed out the game," said Union Local head coach Vaughn Butler. "We preach playing four quarters of basketball and tonight we got off to a slow start but we played all the way to the final buzzer."
"I was especially pleased with the foul shooting," Butler noted that his Jets turned the ball over just 9 times. "We took care of the basketball and continued to play good defense, Jacob (Bailey) took 3 charges."
Union Local was lead by Bailey with 23 points including 4 treys. Gavin Porter put in 13 points with 7 assists. Kaleb McDiffitt also made double-digits with 11 points. Colton McKivitz added 8 points and led the Jets in rebounds with 10 as they totaled 28 caroms. Union Local was hot handed as the winners shot 7 of 20 from 3-point, 23 of 45 from close range and 7 of 8 free throws.
"They got a couple of stops late that really got them over the hump," Tolzda added. "We do not have a lot of depth and it could have come down to conditioning at the end."
"Overall I can not say I was disappointed in our performance," Tolzda commented. "We are improving and this experience could help us down the stretch."
Teryn Jarrett paced the Blue Devils with 17 points. Tristen Palmer notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Beallsville had 30 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
The Blue Devils were 16 of 35 from 2-point. 3 of 14 from outside of the arc and the visitors made good on 13 of 19 on charity opportunities.
Beallsville is 2-5 and hosts Frontier this evening at 6. Union Local, meanwhile, improves to 3-4 and will play in the second game of a girls/boys double header against Buckeye Trail tonight in Morristown which should tip off at 6.
UNION LOCAL (61) - McDiffit 4, 2-2 11; Dunfee 1, 0-0 2; Jones 2, 0-0 4; Porter 4, 3-4 13; McKivitz 3, 2-2 8; Bailey 9, 0-0 23. Totals 23, 7-8. BEALLSVILLE (54) - Palmer 4, 4-4 12; Groves 1, 0-0 2; Mercer 4, 1-2 9; Jarrett 5, 6-10 17; Nippert 3, 0-0 8; Secrest 2, 2-3 6. Totals 19, 13-19 54.
Three-point goals Beallsville Secrest (2), Jarrett. Union Local Bailey (4), Porter (2), McDiffitt.