Union outlasts Wilmington in 3 OT
Wilmington (97) Vs. Union (104)
By Joe Sager
New Castle News

The Union High boys basketball team is undefeated at the Mike Covelli Field House this season.

Last night, it took the Scotties three extra periods to extend their home record to 2-0, but they did it with a 104-97 triple-overtime victory over Wilmington at the Union Athletic Boosters Holiday Tournament.

Union (2-7) advances to face Shenango (2-5) for the championship at 7:30 p.m. today. Meanwhile, Wilmington (4-2) meets Laurel (2-5) in the consolation game at 4:30 p.m.

“Our record, I don’t think it’s indicative of how hard we’ve been playing,” Union coach Dave Smialowski said. “We’ve had a very tough schedule to start the season. We’ve played a lot of road games. This was only our second home game of the year. I think those road games built some character. This kind of a win can do good things for you. It shows you can win in tough situations. I am so proud of these kids and their effort.”

Benjamin Young, who faced a box-and-one defense for the first half, scored a game-high 41 points — 39 came after halftime — to help lead his team to the win.

“That was crazy. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I am proud of my teammates. They beat us pretty good the first time we played (72-63). We don’t like losing. Every game, we’re missing a little piece of something. We wanted to put it all together this game. We played hard.”

The ’Hounds took control in the first quarter and posted a 21-16 lead. Union, which was in foul trouble all evening, roared back in the second with a 26-point effort to grab a 42-32 advantage. Cornell Charles helped lead the charge with eight of his 16 first-half points in the frame.

“In the first half, Cornell Charles was making a lot of shots. I just let him do what he does,” Young said. “He had 16 points in the first half. Once he fouled out, I had to step up and do my job.”

Wilmington limited the Scotties to six points in the third quarter and erupted for 20 to regain the lead, 52-48. The ’Hounds built their lead as high as seven points, 66-59, with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter, but Union rallied to tie it and went ahead 70-69 with 1:02 remaining in regulation.

Spencer DeMedal’s two free throws put Wilmington up, 71-70, with 44.4 seconds to play. Young split a pair of free throws with 4.4 seconds remaining to tie it at 71 at the end of regulation.

The first overtime went down to the wire again and Union’s Garrison Bell split a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to knot the score at 82.

Rocco Fagan, who tallied 36 points for the ’Hounds, made a bucket to give Wilmington a 91-88 edge with 51 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Young answered with a 3-pointer and both teams headed to a third extra session tied at 91.

The Scotties led throughout the third overtime and built their lead to six, 102-96, with 1:02 left on the clock on a Jamie Hooks bucket. Young fouled out with 56.7 seconds to go, but the hosts held on for the win.

“I was real tired. Everyone was tired,” Young said. “I am glad my teammates were able to finish it off. They pulled together and did their jobs. I am proud of them. We all won this game together. I really think this can boost our confidence. Maybe we can keep the winning going. I think it’ll help us out when we get to section play.”

Jordan Smith had 16 points for Wilmington. Travis Brumbaugh added 15 and DeMedal added 11.

Jullian Johnson added 15 points, while Anthony Rush had 12 for the Scotties, who hope to recharge quickly to meet the Wildcats.

“We’re going to find out (how much we have left). We’ll find out what kind of competitors we are,” Smialowski said. “You always want to win your own tournament. I am sure they’ll be ready, but I know they’ll all be tired. That’s a nice win for these kids. I am proud at how hard they have been working and I am glad they got another win here.”

Game Scoreboard
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Wilmington 21 11 20 19 26 97
Union 16 26 6 23 33 104
Box Scores
WILMINGTON (97)
Josiah Bloise 2 0-2 5
Jesse Hilliard 3 2-6 9
Rocco Fagan 8 18-25 36
Travis Brumbaugh 5 5-7 15
Jordan Smith 2 12-18 16
Dan Danus 1 0-0 2
Spencer DeMedal 4 2-3 11
Marc Peoples 1 0-0 2
Jared Berlin 0 1-2 1.
Totals: 26 40-63 97.

UNION (104)
Anthony Rush 4 3-4 12
Garrison Bell 3 2-4 8
Cornell Charles 6 2-3 16
Jacob Jendrysik 1 0-0 3
Malik Williams 0 2-2 2
Austin Burk 1 1-2 3
Jullian Johnson 6 3-3 15
Clarence Parchman 0 0-0 0
Benjamin Young 12 15-19 41
Jamie Hooks 1 2-2 4
Jordan Best 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 34 30-39 104.
WILMINGTON 21 11 20 19 11 9 6 — 97
UNION 16 26 6 23 11 9 13 — 104
3-point goals — Wilmington 5 (Fagan 2, Bloise 1, Hilliard 1, DeMedal 1), Union 6 (Charles 2, Young 2, Rush 1, Jendrysik 1).

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