UNION — Icy roads delayed Friday night’s scheduled basketball action in Union County but a day later Kristin Giles and the Lady Jackets were heating up the court in a 62-46 win over Broome.
Following an eight-point performance against Chapman earlier in the week, Giles turned in 30 points to help the Jackets to their fifth region win on Saturday.
“Her confidence was really down after that Chapman game,” Union County Coach Angela Burke said of Giles. “She was really worried about her shooting and I told her, ‘K.G, you just had an off game offensively. You’re fine.’”
But Giles got back into her rhythm.
After knocking down a pair of free throws in the fourth quarter, she forced a steal on the inbounds play and took a three foot jumper to push the Union County lead to its largest of the night at 18 points.
Although the Jackets dominated the last frame, they traded buckets with Broome throughout the first half and led by just six points at intermission.
Containing Broome’s Jada Wallace was key for Union County. Wallace averages approximately 26 points per game and scored 35 on Saturday although Union County kept her quiet throughout most of the second half.
“We came into the game knowing we’d have to put some height on her for her to have to really elevate her shot,” said Burke. “So we decided on three players to rotate guarding her. Mari (Eison), CeCe (Moorman) and K.G. took turns and really did a good job slowing her down late in the game. We wanted to make her fight for every shot she took and I think it took a toll on her.”
Broome kept pace with Union County for three periods before Sierra Mitchell sparked a 17-0 Jackets run with back to back jumpers.
“She’s not only a threat inside, she’s a threat outside as well,” said Burke of Mitchell. “She can shoot just as well as any guard on the court and she really helps on the boards as well.”
Mitchell finished the night with 14 points and CeCe Moorman added 10.
In boys action, Union County struggled on the offensive glass as well when two starting post players got into foul trouble in an 82-53 loss to Broome.
The Centurians took a 17-8 lead in the first quarter before a pair of buckets by Tre Eison and one from Quan Hardy cut the margin to three points. Eison found Keiston Smith under the basket for a lay-up that made it a 19-18 ball game but Broome scored the next seven points and took a 36-23 lead into intermission.
Broome’s consistent shooting and aggressive defense prevented Union County from finding its rhythm on offense in the second half. The Jackets cut a 21-point margin to 14 in the third quarter before Broome set the cruise control. Tre Eison led Union County with 15 points.
“Keiston and T.J. (Foster) getting in foul trouble hurt us,” said Union County Coach Will Hickson. “Early on I thought we handled the boards pretty well. You have to adjust, though, and we didn’t get after it as hard in the second half as we should have. That’s the best I’ve seen Broome play all year, but now is the time you’re supposed to be playing your best.”