Kingsport Times-News: Union guts out victory over Eastside in Bears’ fourth game in six days
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Union guts out victory over Eastside in Bears’ fourth game in six days

Kevin Mays • Jan 17, 2019 at 12:58 AM

BIG STONE GAP — The Energizer bunny has nothing on the Union basketball team.

Just like the rabbit in the battery commercial, the Bears just keep going and going.

Noah Garrison scored 20 points, Alex Rasnick added 15 and Andy Jones scored 11 Wednesday to lead Union to a 60-50 nondistrict win over Eastside.

GRINDING IT OUT

The game was Union’s fourth in six days. The win was the Bears’ third straight in five days, including a double overtime win over John Battle on Tuesday night.

“It’s that time of year,” Union coach Zack Moore said of the grueling schedule his team has played over the last week.

The schedule has been even tougher for the Bears (7-8) with only eight players on the roster.

“Our guys have embraced any kind of challenge that I’ve thrown at them this year,” said Moore. “We keep getting better and keep getting more confident and we keep getting closer as a team, too.”

CONTROLLING THE TEMPO

Moore was pleased with his team’s defensive effort, which helped the Bears keep Eastside from getting into its running game.

“They like to run and play a fast game. We were able to slow it down some and control the tempo,” said Moore.

Eastside coach Patrick Damron said Union controlling the tempo kept the Spartans (14-2) off balance for the game.

“I thought we looked like we played a double overtime game (Tuesday) and I thought they looked fresh,” said Damron. “We just looked a little uncharacteristic at times. But they had a lot to do with that.

“Honestly, maybe we needed a game like this. Tonight, Union was just better than we were.”

KEEP ON MOVING

Union has little time to rest.

The Bears travel to Ridgeview on Friday for a Mountain 7 District game.

“My legs are tired from (Tuesday) and I’m sure everybody else is tired,” said Rasnick. “We just tried our hardest and did everything we could to get the win tonight.”

Despite being tired, Union’s Garrison said the team found some extra energy from winning Tuesday’s contest with John Battle. As long as the focus is there, Garrison said the team will keep fighting through fatigue.

“We’re a little tired but we’ve got to get ready for the next game against Ridgeview on Friday. Hopefully, we carry over some energy and get another win,” he said.

BOUNCING BACK

Eastside, which got 17 points from Nick Livingston and 16 from Connor Blevins, travels to Twin Springs on Friday for a Cumberland District game before returning home Tuesday to host J.I. Burton in a crucial district contest for both squads.

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