Union Girls Win at Wartburg
On December 7, the Union Girls traveled to Wartburg College for the annual NICL Shootout. Although not in the NICL, Union drew Waukon for the 1:00 match up.
Union played a solid first half and built a 22-14 halftime lead behind the hot shooting of senior point guard Breann Bader who carried the Knights with 16 points. The second half saw Waukon begin to take advantage of the size as their 6' and 6'1" post players began to take control of the scoring and rebounding. Union continued to battle and held a 32-30 advantage heading to the fourth.
Waukon continued to pound the ball inside and got numerous second and third chances to eventually take a one point lead with five minutes to go in the game. For the next few minutes, the Knights traded baskets with Waukon, but it was not enough to retake the lead. Waukon extended their lead to a five point margin with just a minute to play when the Knights found the will, desire, and energy to mount an exciting comeback.
Union closed the gap to three with 49 seconds to play. After a defensive stop by freshman Jackie Barz, Union was able to tie the game on a three pointer by fellow freshman Courtney Powell with 11 seconds to play. The Knights locked down on defense and Maggie Driscol was able to secure a defensive rebound while being fouled on the play with .7 seconds remaining. The freshman had double bonus free throws coming with the game tied and made the second to seal the game.
"We knew Waukon would be well coached and have size that we have not seen yet so I was curious to see how the girls would handle this situation. Although we did not rebound well at all, we were able to do enough things well in the other areas to pull out the win. Scoring 19 from the free throw line and having only 12 turnovers was a key factor. Probably the biggest thing I was proud of was the composure the girls showed in the fourth quarter as our lead slipped away and we were down five with a minute to play. They found a way to create turnovers and hit big shots which impresses me for a young team. The girls continue to look better as they get comfortable with our schemes."
Union Girls Earn Win Over Wapsie
The Union Girls Basketball team won in convincing fashion over Wapsie Valley 60-23 on December 6. Union had a strong start in front of the home crowd and mounted a 28-13 halftime lead. Breann Bader lead the way with 13 points in the half while the Union defense created turnovers and limited Wapsie's offensive looks.
The second half was more of the same as the Knights' defense held Wapsie scoreless in the third quarter and built a 44-13 lead heading to the fourth. Union closed out the game with a 60-23 win.
"We knew Wapsie played a lot of young kids last year and had the potential of being much better, so I'm happy with the focus and intensity our girls showed tonight. We played much better than the first night out and looked decent in most facets of the game. We cut our turnovers in half compared the opening game and got 22 steals which can help on the offensive end."
Union Girls Fall to Vinton, 39-38
The Union Girls Basketball team opened up the 2013-14 with Vinton-Shellsburg at home on November 26. With several new players getting their first taste of varsity and only a week of practice together, the team looked at such during various portions of the game.
Union opened up a 20-12 halftime advantage lead by freshman Courtney Powell and senior point guard Breann Bader who scored 10 and 7 respectively in the half. Union held a 30-26 lead heading to the fourth and built as much as a six, with four minutes remaining in the game. With 30 seconds to play, Union held a two point lead and missed a couple opportunities to score. With ten seconds remaining, Vinton hit a three pointer to take a 39-38 lead and a last second shot would not fall for the Knights.
"For the first outing, the girls did some things well and although made too many mistakes, probably played good enough defense to deserve the win. Too many turnovers (26) and missed free throws was a definate factor. For a young, inexperience team, I was pleased how they battled. With more practice time together, they will get better."