Union girls hang in for a half against Laurel
Laurel (58) Vs. Union (33)

For just a moment, it looked like there was a chance.

The Union High girls basketball team has had its struggles recently, going 3-19 last season and losing to West Middlesex in the opener over the weekend.

That’s why last night, after Ashley Sankey’s layup cut Laurel’s lead to 23-15 late in the second quarter, the Lady Scots Ashley Barger, who was waiting to check in at the scorer’s table, jumped up and let out a resounding “Yes!”

A true exclamation of hope.

Union trailed 29-19 at halftime despite turning the ball over 16 times against a Lady Spartans’ team that played 10 girls and used a full-court press the entire half.

The first half met the approval of Union coach Gary Trimble, who said, “For that half we played pretty good. The kids played hard.”

And then, Laurel proceeded to blow the doors off its home gym in the first 30 seconds of the third quarter, paving the way to an easy 58-33 nonsection win.

Lindsey Sauers had two steals and converted a layup, Kasie Brown added another steal and layup before her jumper off an offensive rebound made it 35-19.

“That run deflated us,” Trimble said. “With an up and down team like that, we are going to struggle.”

Laurel has installed a new, up-tempo approach and last night was a clinic on how its supposed to work as the Lady Spartans (2-1) forced 30 turnovers, had numerous fast-break layups and substituted freely the entire game.

It all came from last year when Laurel took its lumps, going 5-17, but getting plenty of experience in the process.

“The only positive last year was all the experience we got,” Lady Spartans coach Jen McGarrah said. “It’s starting to pay off because we have a lot of depth now that allows us to run and press.”

Now McGarrah has a team that is starting to learn how to win.

The scoring was balanced as Brown led the way with a game-high 15 points and seven rebounds while Sauers added 10 points and six steals. Point guard Lacee Cutchall scored eight points and Rosie Spielvogel came off the bench to score eight.

Brown was just one of the nine returning letterwinners that went through last year’s miserable season. She is starting to see the fruits of her team’s labor.

“That year was not the best,” Brown said, “We did well all summer and we have been doing good lately. Practice has been a lot better, too.”

Despite an offense that at times looked like a game of hot potato with all the turnovers, the Lady Scots (0-2) had a few bright spots. They made seven 3-pointers, including three by Bridget Boyles and a pair by junior guard Noelle Hannon. Boyles and reserve Vanessa Waller each had six rebounds.

Trimble acknowledged the fact that his team has been struggling, but was somewhat pleased with the effort against a Class AA opponent, hoping the mistakes made last night will help them when section play begins.

McGarrah hopes this is the beginning of a new phase of Laurel girls basketball.

“We changed our mindset from last year,” she said. “We’re better.”
Game Scoreboard
Laurel 19 10 18 11 0 58
Union 10 9 4 10 0 33
Box Scores
Field Goals Attempted Foul Shots Made Foul Shots Three Points Total Points Fouls
#26 Cassie Yough010000
#52 Courtney Smith100020
#34 Emily McKissick000000
#42 Kaity Anderson241050
#24 Kasie Brown6620150
#14 Kerri Hutchison200040
#32 Lacee Cutchall243080
#20 Lindsey Sauers4520100
#12 Rachel Kwiatkowski221060
#23 Rosie Spielvogel341080
#32 Ashley Barger100130
#20 Ashley Sankey231050
#24 Bridget Boyles4203110
#12 Cassie Forletta021010
#21 Kaylin Clingensmith100130
#33 Kristen Koszela063030
#23 Noelle Hannon200260
#14 Vanessa Waller041010
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