Blairsville, Georgia- On Tuesday night, the Union County Panthers hosted the Towns County Indians for both teams’ first game of the season. The Panthers lost a lot of key seniors but have a lot of younger players that have a lot of experience from last year. The Indians have gained some additional players due to North Carolina canceling fall sports. Expect to see the Indians do some big things this year.
To begin the game, both teams turned the ball over twice. Union got on the board first with Junior Landon Kight making both free throws. Towns came right back down the court and tied it with a layup and took the lead with the and-1 free-throw by Junior Jake McTaggert. Towns would stay attacking the basket but miss their next few shots. Kight made a nice move in the post to get the and-1 layup to put the Panthers up 5-3. On the next possession, McTaggert would block a layup and on a fast break, Junior Caleb John would have a huge block on the other end. McTaggert would score on the inbound play to tie it 5-5. The Indians would go up 8-5 and just as the buzzer went off, John would hit a huge 3 to tie things at 8 a piece to end the first quarter. It was a huge defensive battle with each team only allowing 8 points through the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Panthers kept things close during the beginning of the quarter but the Indians would slowly pull away, led by Senior Kabe Ellis and Senior Colton Day, with Ellis scoring 11 points and Day scoring 6. The Indians went on an 11-0 run to end the half. The Indians were up at the half 31-20. To start the 3rd quarter, the Indians would come out firing scoring 4 quick points and going up 16 points quick. The Indians would end up outscoring the Panthers 15-10 in the 3rd. The same would happen in the fourth, the Indians would keep their foot on the gas and go onto win 63-37. The Panthers fall to 0-1. The Panthers were led by Junior Caleb John and Junior Landon Kight.
The Panthers will host Gilmer County on Tuesday, December 1st.
Blairsville, Georgia- Tuesday night, The Lady Panthers hosted the Towns County Indians for both teams’ first game of the season. Union is starting the season starting a lot of young players after losing a lot of key seniors from last year. The Lady Panthers are looking to keep the winning streak going against the Lady Indians as they won both matchups last year.
Both teams started the game fouling. After that, both teams settled in with Union scoring first on a corner 3 by Sophomore Ellie Cook. Towns matched that with a 3 by Kennedi Henson on the next possession and another 3 by Sarah Shook. Throughout the first quarter, the scoring was back and forth but Union led by 1, 11-10 at the end of the first. Union started the second quarter with 2 quick fouls. The scoring was again, back and forth but it was a low scoring second quarter. Neither team could get any points on the board. At the half, Union led 16-13.
To begin the third quarter, the scoring was again back and forth. The Lady Indians were spreading the ball around and multiple players were scoring. The Lady Indians held Junior Ava Hunter to 4 points through 3 quarters. The fourth quarter was very close, each team being very aggressive with the scoring going back and forth. Throughout the game, no one had a lead bigger than 3. Early in the fourth quarter, Cook fouled out, which hurt the Lady Panthers offensively and defensively. That made Junior Ava Hunter have to step up. She stepped up big, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Corinne Hill had a key steal that put the Lady Panthers up by 1 late in the fourth. Late in the fourth both teams had a chance to score and win the game. Tied 36-36 coming out of a Towns timeout with 25 seconds left, the Lady Panthers defense held strong and stole the ball but couldn’t handle the ball enough to get a good shot off. The led us to the first overtime.
In the first overtime, it was very close and the Lady Panthers were led by sophomore Corinne Hill, scoring 4 points. The Lady Indians stole the ball late, forcing a jump ball and the Lady Indians gained possession. The Lady Indians had a chance to win but missed the shot as time ran out. In the second overtime, the Lady Panthers just held the ball to find a good shot and run time off the clock. The Indians would steal the ball away but due to great hustle by Junior Ansley Collins, she hit the ball out of bounds before the Lady Indians could get a shot up. Late in the second overtime, Junior Rebekha Chambers scores but is called for a charging foul so the basket doesn’t count. Still tied, Hunter is fouled and takes 1-2 free throws to give the Panthers the lead 41-40. She is fouled again and makes 1-2 again to extend the lead 42-40. The Lady Indians, Senior Vanessa Floyd quickly scores and ties it at 42. Union ends up fouling with 23 seconds left and Floyd makes 1-2 free throws to make it 43-42 Towns, Union rebounds the ball with 9 seconds left and misses the game winning shot.
The Lady Panthers lose their first game of the season, 43-42. Junior Ava Hunter led the Lady Panthers in scoring, scoring 15 points. The Lady Panthers host Gilmer County on Tuesday, December 1.