Union Local staves off Bellaire

MORRISTOWN — Union Local head coach Drew Greenwood starts to get a little frustrated that his Lady Jets aren’t playing the way he, or even they, want to

Then all of a sudden, he thinks about the calendar.

“We’re usually not very good until after (Christmas),” Greenwood noted.

Despite what it says on the calendar, the Lady Jets are still finding a way to get the job done, which, ultimately, is the main objective.

Case in point was Monday evening where Union Local (4-2) staved off another gutsy effort from Bellaire (1-5) for a 54-47 victory in a game that was changed late in the afternoon from Bellaire due to a leaky roof.

“This is a group of girls that wants to be good, but we just haven’t quite figured how to yet,” Greenwood continued. “As soon as they realize it’s just stepping up, doing the basic things and making plays, I think they’ll get a taste of it. Once they get a taste, I think we’ll get back on track.”

The Lady Jets did several things that usually don’t equate to victory, including missing numerous easy shots, not taking care of the ball and not managing the clock very well down the stretch when leading.

However, the Lady Big Reds were never able to fully capitalize as Marci Bonar’s squad continues to find difficulty in consistently scoring the basketball.

“Once again, we hustle so hard and all day, so we can’t take anything away from our effort, but obviously, that’s not enough anymore,” Bonar said. “We’re getting sick of being one silly mistake away from winning. We had a couple of bad mental mistakes, and we have to get to the point where we realize that every possession matters.”

The Lady Jets gained some separation in the third quarter after outscoring the Lady Reds, 17-12 in the period for a 38-33 lead entering the fourth.

The lead swelled to as many as seven on three different occassions in the fourth, but each time, the Lady Reds answered.

Sophomore Kierstyn Kidder hit a pair of treys in the fourth to keep the Lady Reds close, but each time they answered, talented UL junior Cori Medley responded for her team.

After Bellaire got as close as two at 42-40, Medley drilled a triple and a Bellaire turnover was followed by an inside bucket from hard-working senior Kayla Doty, who had 12 points despite playing on an injured knee.

“Medley hurt us,” Bonar said. “We talked coming in that we had to get a hand on her because she’s a good shooter. We lost her a couple of times and she made us pay.”

Bellaire was unable to get any closer than five the rest of the way as Dallas Montag, who was bottled up much of the evening, connected on a pair of foul shots.

Medley led all scorers in the game with 22 points. She turned in a solid all-around game with six boards and four assists. She also handled the Bellaire pressure well.

“Cori’s a ball player,” Greenwood said. “She loves to play and takes it very seriously. We’ve got a lot of girls who take the game seriously, but we just need to identify our roles better.”

Doty finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Montag finished with eight markers. Mikayla Patton had eight boards for UL.

The Lady Big Reds, meanwhile, were paced by Kidder’s 18.

Senior Myleah Green donated 14. Senior Cari Crozier added six. Sophomore Dallas Messenger only scored one bucket, but she was brilliant on defense with six steals.

Bellaire was charted for 17 turnovers, which were two fewer than the winners.

Union Local made it a sweep by prevailing in the jayvee game.

BELLAIRE (47) – Crozier 2, 2-2 6; Green 6, 1-2 14; Kidder 6, 3-4 18; Ryan 0, 0-0 0; Crook 1, 1-2 3; Messenger 1, 0-0 2; Gillespie 2, 0-0 4; Totals: 18, 7-10 47. UNION LOCAL (54) – Doty 6, 0-0 12; Montag 2, 3-4 8; Stiles 1, 0-2 2; Medley 8, 3-3 22; Collins 1, 0-0 2; Patton 1, 2-2 4; Delaney 1, 0-1 3; Totals: 20, 8-12 54.

Three-Point Goals: B – Kidder (3), Green. UL – Montag, Medley (3), Delaney.