Union Local storms past Harrison Central

CADIZ — In besting Ridgewood this past Monday, Union Local led by 17 at halftime, only to see its lead dwindle to four after three quarters before winning by seven.

Thursday night inside the John W. Stephenson Center, the Jets led Harrison Central by nine at halftime. This time, though, there was no third-quarter swoon in their 62-43 victory.

Union Local outscored the Huskies 23-4 in the period, including a 14-0 run, and coasted to the Buckeye 8 win.

“The one thing we said at halftime was we’re not (doing what we did Monday night) again,” Jets head coach Kelley Hanlon said. “We just kept pushing hard in that third quarter, and it worked.”

Union Local kept pushing, but they also saw some halftime adjustments pay off.

After watching Sydney Starr torch the nets for 16 of the Huskies’ 21 first-half points, Hanlon decided to adjust her defense to try to corral Starr. And, in doing so, it caused the entire Harrison Central offense to become flustered.

“I put a defense in we’d never seen before,” Hanlon said. “I just knew I wanted to close in on (Starr).

“I took my press and just condensed it in toward the middle.”

After Starr opened the second half with a bucket that brought the Huskies to within seven, Union Local (2-2) exploded for the next 14 points, most of which came off turnovers.

Time and time again, the Jets forced Harrison Central (1-3) into mistakes, mostly near midcourt. And, they took advantage.

Five of the final seven baskets in the spurt came off steals. Three of those were assisted.

“It was all-around bad,” Harrison Central head coach Nick Yourkovich said of the Jets’ run. “We weren’t focused and couldn’t take care of the basketball.”

Allison Loase scored six of her 14 points during the surge, one that also included four from Sutherlynd Butler.

Butler was tasked most of the night with guarding Starr. And, following Starr’s bucket to start the second half, she only scored five points the rest of the way, finishing with a game-best 23. Hanlon credited her entire team for the defensive effort.

“I’m proud of them for how they worked and kept at it,” she said.

Yourkovich, meanwhile, expressed frustration.

“When we lose our focus and we lose our intensity and we lose our focus, we’re a bad basketball team,” he said.

“In that third quarter, we started throwing (the ball) around and stopped paying attention to our assignments and not sprinting back on defense and not knowing where Haley Porter was — all of the things we talked about the past two days.

“When you do that, you’ll give up easy buckets and the score will balloon like it did.”

Porter, the Jets senior guard, led UL with 17 points, but only five came in the decisive third. She had back-to-back buckets late in the period, the last one giving the Jets a 51-25 lead.

Casey Kildow joined Loase and Porter in double figures with 14 points off the bench.

“This was her best game,” Hanlon said of the freshman. “She had 16 Monday, but, to me, this was her best game.

“There was a couple of times you could see the freshman in her and we’re trying to get it out of her because she doesn’t play like a freshman whatsoever. She’s really come on fast. Her shooting has always been there, but the other parts of her game are coming along.”

Harrison Central will try and rebound Saturday afternoon at Brooke. UL returns to action Monday at home vs. Martins Ferry.

The Huskies won the JV tilt, 42-21.

Union Local 62, Harrison Central 43

Union Local 17-13-23-9 — 62

Harrison Central 13-8-4-18 — 43

UNION LOCAL (62): Kildow 7, 0-0 14; Butler 4, 0-0 8; Menges 0, 0-0 0; Hal.Porter 6, 2-3 17; Johnen 0, 0-0 0; Loase 7, 0-0 14; Han.Porter 2, 1-2 5, Mercer 2, 0-0 4; Robb 0, 0-0 0. Totals: 28, 3-5 62. HARRISON CENTRAL (43): Positano 1, 0-0 3; Corder 1, 0-0 3; Mattern 0, 0-1 0; Dowdle 1, 0-0 3; Madzia 1, 0-0 2; Starr 10, 3-4 23; McAfee 2, 0-0 6; Carter 1, 0-2 3; Haney 0, 0-0 0; Miller 0, 0-0 0. Totals: 17, 3-7 43.

3-POINT GOALS: U: Hal.Porter (3); H: McAfee (2), Positano, Corder, Dowdle, Carter.