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Strong second half sparks Union Local girls past Shadyside

T-L Photo/SETH STASKEY Union Local sophomore Reagan Vinskovich and Shadyside senior Tory Hendershot get tied up, battling for the ball during the second half of Saturday's game at Shadyside. The Jets prevailed, 68-51.

SHADYSIDE — Union Local head coach Rob Barr insisted after Saturday’s 68-51 victory at Shadyside that he did not get a technical foul to serve as a motivator for his team.

Whether that’s truly the case or not, may never be known. What is known, though, is the Jets took control that from point and closed the third quarter on a 15-2 run and then never allowed the Tigers to threaten in the fourth.

“I told the kids at halftime that this game was going to come down to which team wanted it the most,” Barr said. “Playing a good team on the road and we weren’t shooting the ball well.”

The Tigers owned a 34-29 lead at halftime and thanks to senior sharpshooter Baylee Wach, the Orange’s lead had swelled to as many eight in the early stages of the third before the Jets seemed to get their bearings straight.

Standout junior Hannah Merritt buried a couple of bonus goals of her own in the third and after Barr was hit with a technical foul, the Jets embarked on their run to take the game over.

With Merritt doing it from the perimeter, it created more space for sophomore pivot Reagan Vinskovich to operate on the interior. A total mismatch for a Shadyside club that features no player taller than 5-8, Vinskovich had her way with seven points in the quarter.

“In the first half, we were shooting the ball like ‘oh gosh. I hope we don’t miss,'” Barr observed. “Hannah was on fire in the third and Reagan gives us an advantage. I thought we wanted it more in the second half. The extra things make the difference.”

The Jets outscored Shadyside, 26-14 in the fourth and proceeded to score 13 of the fourth quarter’s 17 points. Shadyside mustered just one field goal in the final quarter.

“It’s a game of runs and they were able to make one in the third and we weren’t able to put the ball consistently enough to make a run of our own (in the second half),” Shadyside head coach Serge Gentile said. “I thought we played pretty well (Saturday). We battled, but we just couldn’t respond to their run and that’s the game of basketball.”

Merritt finished as the Jets’ leading scorer with 23 points. Vinskovich, however, stuffed the stat sheet as she normally does. She tallied 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked four shots, had three steals and three assists.

Sophomore Torre Kildow finished with 11 points, while steady senior point guard Casey Kildow added eight.

Shadyside, which is back in action against River on Monday, was led by Wach’s 17. Senior Tory Hendershot was strong on both ends. She had 14 points, five rebounds and four steals. Junior Paige Gorby added eight points and eight rebounds. Hard-working sophomore Gentry Brown finished with six points and a like number of rebounds.

Union Local 68, Shadyside 51

UNION LOCAL (68) — C. Kildow 3, 0-0 8; T. Kildow 4, 2-2 11; Vinskovich 10, 2-4 22; Merritt 9, 0-0 23; Gregor 2, 0-0 4; Scott 0, 0-0 0; Cheatham 0, 0-0 0; Totals: 28, 4-6 68. SHADYSIDE (51) — Wach 6, 2-2 17; T. Hendershot 4, 4-6 14; Elerick 1, 0-0 3; Gorby 3, 2-7 8; Brown 3, 0-0 6; M. Hendershot 1, 0-0 3; Totals: 18, 8-15 51.

3-point goals: UL — C. Kildow (2), T. Kildow, Merritt (5). S — Wach (3), Elerick, T. Henderhsot (2), M. Hendershot.

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