Union effort not up to snuff in loss to Sewickley
Union (46) Vs. Sewickley (64)
By Andrew Koob
New Castle News

Union High boys basketball coach Mark Stanley knew something was off during the Scotties' practice Thursday.

Stanley stopped the practice and told his players that the effort just wasn't there and that, if that mentality was carried over into Friday night's matchup against WPIAL Section 1-A leader Sewickley Academy, it would be far from enough to secure a victory.

Stanley was correct in his prediction, as the third-place Scotties' effort was lackluster in a 64-46 loss to the Panthers.

"(Thursday) I stopped practice and told the guys, ‘If you play like this tomorrow, we’re in trouble. You have to pick it up,’ " Stanley said. "It carried over and it is what it is. I wish I had an answer, just one of those times we didn’t have energy. They came out and they had it.

"Sometimes their shots are going in and ours weren’t. Live and learn. It carried over from practice.”

Devin Wilson posted a double-double for the Scotties with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Garrison Bell contributed a team-high 13 points.

The Panthers' Justin Pryor scored a game-high 23 points in the win.

Sewickley (9-1 section, 16-2 overall) shot out to an early lead, taking a six-point advantage into the second quarter. That's when the Panthers started to dominate and the Scotties (7-4, 10-9) began to sputter.

The Panthers went on a 12-0 run to open the second quarter, yet Union responded with seven straight to keep Sewickley within striking distance. Sewickley followed that by scoring the final six points of the first half to take a 17-point lead and the momentum advantage into the locker room.

Out of the break Sewickley scored six of the half's first seven points, expanding its lead to 22 points.

“That run was important, that’s why I called that timeout when it got to be eleven points," Sewickley coach Win Palmer said. "I could tell we were a little gassed. It’s hard when you’re looking at seventeen (points), even though they scrap hard. Then we came out of the gates in the third and once you get a game into the twenties with our guards, it’s hard for another team to come back.”

Union did not get any closer to chipping away at the deficit in the second half, getting it to 18 points on the final 3-pointer by Joey Crivelli.

The Scotties had trouble keeping Sewickley off of the boards, specifically on the offensive end. The Panthers continuously found themselves in position for second-chance points and finished around the hoop with ease.

“It’s effort. I talked about it at halftime, I thought we played soft at times. I blame myself, I’m letting us be soft and we can’t do that or it’ll be a short run in the playoffs," Stanley said. "You have to get a body on someone, rebounding and defense is all about effort.

"They dominated us on the boards. No excuses, they out-efforted us.”

Union's issues were far from just on the boards. The Scotties turned the ball over 15 times, shot 4-of-27 (14.8 percent) from beyond the arc and were an inefficient 17-of-57 (29.8 percent) overall.

“Every time you play, you have to come ready," Stanley said. "Sewickley is very good, they’re talented and well-coached. I don’t know if there’s a letdown because, win or lose, we’re still in the same position. You try to get past that and take a chance to take the section away from them. To their credit, they came out and put it to us.”

(Email: AKoob@ncnewsonline.com)
Game Scoreboard
Union 13 7 11 15 0 46
Sewickley 19 18 15 12 0 64
Box Scores
C. Groetsch 5 1-1 12
Ridgeway 4 1-2 10
Salter-Volz 1 0-0 2
Pryor 9 5-8 23
Brown 2 0-0 5
MacDougall 0 0-0 0
T Groetsch 1 0-0 2
McClain 5 0-0 10
Mulholland 0 0-0 0
Washington 0 0-0 0
Roony 0 0-0 0
Totals: 27 7-11 64

UNION (46)
Garrison Bell 5 3-7 13
Jordan Best 0 0-0 0
Joey Crivelli 4 0-0 1
Timmy Sumner 1 3-5 6
K’Von Huddleston 0 0-0 0
Tre’von Charles 0 0-0 0
Constantin Padure 2 0-0 4
Devin Wilson 5 2-2 12
Totals: 17 8-14 46

SEWICKLEY 19 18 15 12 — 64
UNION 13 7 11 15 — 46

3-point goals — Sewickley 3 (C. Groestch 1, Ridgeway 1, Brown 1), Union 4 (Crivelli 3, Sumner 1).
JV score: Union 64, Sewickley 49. High scorers: U — Robert King 15, Dom Dudo 14, Evan Pinkerton 11.
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