STRATTANVILLE, Pa. – Trailing 48-39 heading into the fourth quarter, the Union Knights rallied with a 24-8 scoring blitz to come away with a 63-56 victory over Clarion-Limestone on Friday evening at the Lions’ Den in Strattanville.
(Photo Courtesy of: Shelly Atzeni)
Karter Vogel scored all 11 of his points in the second half, while Caden Rainey scored 13 of his total in the second half, with nine of those coming in the fourth quarter. Skylar Roxbury also tallied double figures with 12 points. Brock Jordan and Payton Johnston each added nine. Vogel added 10 rebounds.
“Caden and Karter seem to be our sparkplugs,” said Union head coach Eric Mortimer. “Everything seems to go through them, and then the rest of the team kind of follows their lead. Shooting has been a problem for us all season, but tonight we were knocking down our shots. We challenged our guys all week, and they came out and responded well.”
Hayden Callen paced C-L with 12 points and nine rebounds. Riley Klingensmith added 10 points, while Jordan Hesdon and Hayden Siegel each scored eight points. Hesdon handed out five assists while Ryan Hummell added six assists.
“I just don’t have any answers for what’s been going on with our team,” said C-L head coach Joe Ferguson. “We’ve been turning the ball over too much, and we’re making a lot of bad decisions. We gave up 24 points in the fourth quarter tonight, and that’s a case of simply not playing defense.”
The first quarter was a back-and-forth situation with the two teams being tied six times. C-L held the largest lead of the quarter at 15-11. Union closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 17-15 lead after one.
The Lions started the second quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 24-19 lead with 4:21 to play. A three-pointer by Rainey cut the lead to 24-22 before C-L closed the half on a 7-0 run for a 31-22 halftime lead. Rainey scored all five of the Knights’ points in the quarter on one field goal and two free throws.
A Hesdon basket to start the third quarter gave C-L their largest lead of the game of 11 points at 33-22. Union cut the deficit to seven at 37-30 with 4:30 to play. An 11-9 edge by C-L the rest of the quarter kept the lead at nine, 48-39 heading into the fourth quarter.
Union kept chipping away at the lead with an 8-2 run to start the quarter, which cut the lead to 50-47 with 5:05 to play. A basket by Hesdon put the Lions back up by five at 52-47 before a three-pointer by Johnston that cut the lead to 52-50 and seemed to ignite the Knights.
A pair of free throws by Tommy Smith again put C-L up by four with 3:53 to play. Union’s Roxbury added a putback while Vogel added a pair of free throws to tie the score at 54-all with 3:25 to play. Tommy Smith would put C-L back ahead 56-54 with 2:53 to play. Those would be the last points for C-L in the game as Union closed the game on a 9-0 run to set the final score.
“We chewed them out a bit at halftime, and they came out and responded well,” said Mortimer. We have a good ballclub, but at times they just haven’t played that well. We went to a zone defense, which helped in our rebounding. Karter did a nice job getting a lot of those rebounds. This is the type of win we’ve been looking for, and hopefully, the guys can gain some momentum from it.”