Union Blows Out Wilmington, 71-42

With his Union High boys basketball team up 14-13 early in last night’s game, coach Dave Smialowski had a premonition.

“We are gonna wear them down,” he said to the bench. “I can see it already.”

He was right.

And Wilmington never had a prayer after that.

After a lackluster 65-63 win over Laurel on Thursday night, the Scotties exhibited terrific team basketball in their 71-42 win over the Greyhounds in the championship game of the Union Boosters Tournament.

Union (8-2) played at a breakneck pace from the tip and freely substituted the whole game.

Everyone played a role in this rout:

•Tournament Most Valuable Player Jordan Clingensmith hit three straight 3-pointers in the second quarter to push Union’s lead to 31-21. Clingensmith had 16 points and was a terror on defense.

•Center Matt Adamo had nine points and 12 rebounds and controlled the paint all night.

•Point guard Anthony Thomas made some highlight-reel crossover dribbles to get to the hole on the way to a game-high 18 points.

•Jordon Rooney again played the opponent’s best player, and again he shut him down. Matched up against Wilmington’s Shane Wagner (who had 24 points and seven 3-pointers against Shenango on Thursday), Rooney held him to four points and one triple. Wagner could hardly breathe, let alone get off a good shot.

“Rooney said ‘I got him’ this morning in practice and that was it,” Smialowski said.

•Linnell Robinson and Markus Allen brought energy off the bench — Robinson with steals, hustle and quickness, and Allen with toughness down low (seven rebounds) and post defense.

“If Markus plays like that, the sky’s the limit for this team,” Smialowski said.

•Finally there was reserve Donte Calhoun. With the Scotties in the middle of a 47-12 run late in the third quarter, the junior forward got a rebound and dribbled past four Greyhounds before going behind his back for a layup, bringing all of the Mike Covelli Field House to its feet.

At 62-28, the rout was on.

“I knew the pressure would wear them down eventually,” Smialowski said. “We have a lot of depth and we just played really well tonight.

“We played so well as a team.”

Wilmington coach Will Harris said his team’s defense was the key to the loss.

“We had no transition defense, at all,” he said. “They are just so quick and deep. They’re hard to stop.”

Jake DeMedal led the ’Hounds with 10 points, with Chris Burns (eight points, eight rebounds) and Carson Sharbaugh (eight points, two 3-pointers) also contributing.

Jason Burkes added 14 points for Union.

The Scotties begin a rough stretch in the schedule. They face WPIAL Class AA Summit Academy on Wednesday before meeting Section 1-A second-place Lincoln Park (7-2) on Friday.

“I’m challenging them, because I see how good we can be,” Smialowski said. “We have a chance to be a really good team.”

If last night is an indication, it’s getting there in a hurry.
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