The Lady Bears took advantage of 19 Rye Cove turnovers to take a 60-29 nondistrict girls basketball win Monday on the Lady Eagles’ court.
Union coach Kory Bostic was glad to see his team have a solid defensive effort.
The Lady Bears (10-4) start their second trek through the Mountain 7 District on Wednesday when they host Ridgeview, and Bostic knows they must be ready defensively for the regular season-ending run.
“We’ve really been putting a lot of emphasis on increasing our defensive intensity,” Bostic said. “It’s got to be a focus going into the second half of our district schedule. Defensively, we’ve got to get better. I think we came over here and did a nice job tonight and hopefully that will give us a little momentum going into Wednesday with Ridgeview and then against Gate City on Friday.
“It’s a big week for us and we really need to have a little momentum and be ready to play this week. It’s going to determine a lot about postseason seeding.”
Union jumped ahead 19-8 in the first quarter, but Rye Cove (6-9) cut the advantage to 19-13 on baskets from Grace Rhoton and Katy Roller just a minute into the second period.
Thirty seconds later, Emili Brooks hit a basket for Union that sparked an 18-1 scoring run to close the quarter and put the Lady Bears up 37-14 at halftime.
“They run the zone and they’re so tall and long, it’s hard to get anything going really for us,” said Rye Cove coach Kelly Hood. “We’re not offensively explosive, so it’s a tough matchup for us.
“I thought we played really well for a quarter and a half. But we kind of let them pull away in the second quarter there.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Union outscored the Lady Eagles 10-6 in the third quarter and 13-9 in the final period to seal the win.
Brooks led Union with 17 points and nine rebounds. Heather Lipps and Jayda Smith each finished with 14 points for the Lady Bears.
Roller finished with 11 points and Rhoton totaled seven to lead Rye Cove.
Both teams have a busy week of basketball ahead of them. After Union’s game Wednesday with Ridgeview, it meets Gate City on Friday in two key Mountain 7 contests.
Rye Cove is back in action Tuesday with a Cumberland District home game against Castlewood then travels to Thomas Walker Friday for another district matchup.