UL’s Bailey surpasses milestone in victory

Jacob Bailey has quietly put together an impressive basketball career at Union Local.

The senior added another accomplishment to his Jets’ resume Tuesday evening in Bellaire.

In scoring 32 points to lead the Jets past the Big Reds, 70-52, Bailey surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. He’s currently got 1,009 points.

“I am really happy for Jacob,” said UL head coach Vaughn Butler. “He really works at the game, playing all summer, AAU ball and he’s very deserving. Hopefully, he’s got several more points in him.”

Bailey came into the game needing 23 points and found himself sitting on 20 at halftime after he got behind the Big Reds’ defense, caught a full-court pass and kissed home a trey just before the half-time buzzer sounded.

That capped a 9-0 Jets’ run to end the half and really took the wind out of the Big Reds’ sail.

“UL made plays, made shots, played good defense and deserved to win,” said Bellaire head coach J.R. Battista. “That bucket before half by Bailey was a back breaker, but there are a lot of plays throughout a game that can be crushing.”

The Jets (5-9) carried the momentum into the second half, scoring 15 of the first 20 third-quarter points en route to a commanding 49-26 upperhand.

In that stretch, Bailey drilled a three that landed him on the century mark. He scored five more points during that stretch before spending most of the final few minutes of the third on the bench.

“We talked at halftime about extending the lead,” Butler said.

“There have been times this season where we’ve been flat in the third, but that wasn’t the case tonight. I was happy with how we finished.”

While Butler was tickled for Bailey, the team victory was equally exciting.

“These kids needed the win,” Butler admitted. “We’ve struggled at times, but there are teams out there that are just better than us. We have to face that.

“But, the teams that we’re better than, we need to beat those teams. I think this will help the morale and make practice much more fun.”

Bailey’s output was complemented by Trenton Tipton, who added 10. Colton McKivitz donated nine and Kaleb McDiffit and Gavin Porter evenly divided 14.

The Big Reds (3-12), who were without Nathan Steele due to injury and lost post player Ryan Callarik in the first quarter with an injury, were led by hard-working junior Kenny Hess, who went for 25 points.

Junior Nick Patrone and sophomore Hunter Westlake each had seven.

“We had a tough time scoring and moving the ball against their defense,” Battista said.

“We were playing with some different guys, but (UL’s) defense had more to do with our struggles than the personnel.

“Our lack of skill with the ball came to the forefront as it always does in this sport.”

Both teams continue Buckeye 8 play on Friday. Bellaire visits Indian Creek, while UL also treks to Jefferson County to tangle at Edison.

Union Local was a decisive winner in the jayvee game.

UNION LOCAL (70) – McDiffit 3, 1-1 7; Tipton 4, 2-3 10; Dunfee 0, 0-0 0; Causby 0, 0-0 0; Naverly 0, 1-2 1; Jones 0, 0-0 0; Porter 3, 0-2 7; McKivitz 3, 3-6 9; Bailey 10, 9-10 32; T. Tripton 1, 0-0 2; Pavlick 1, 0-0 2; Goodson 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 25, 16-22 70. BELLAIRE (52) – Ramsey 2, 0-0 4; Callarik 1, 2-2 4; Westlake 2, 2-2 7; Back 1, 0-0 3; Pickens 0, 0-0 0; Ky. Hess 0, 0-0 0; Patrone 3, 1-4 7; Kovalyk 0, 0-0 0; Hall 1, 0-0 2; Ke. Hess 10, 4-8 25; Bentz 0, 0-0 0; Ellison 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 20, 9-16 52.

Three-Point Goals: UL – Bailey (3), Porter. B – Westlake, Back, Hess.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleader-online.com