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Union Girls’ Tough Defense Stymies Cranberry

RIMERSBURG, Pa. – Union’s dominant defense held Cranberry to 11 total points in the Damsels’ 40-11 victory Friday night in Rimersburg. The Damsels were in control of the game from beginning to end, taking a 9-2 first quarter lead and a 18-2 halftime lead en route to their first win of the season.

Dominika Logue led the Damsels with 13 points. Kiera Croyle also scored 10 for Union. Seven Union players got on the scoresheet, highlighting the Damsels’ unselfish play.

The game started very slowly for both teams, as it took Union four minutes to score the first points of the contest. The pace remained slow until the final two minutes of the quarter, when the Damsels went on a quick 9-2 run to close out the period. Four different Union players scored during the run, displaying Union’s team-oriented offensive play.

Union kept building their lead during the second quarter while continuing their tenacious defense, giving up zero second quarter points. Union head coach Allyson Kepple credits her team’s defensive resilience after some early season struggles.

“We have been trying to work on our defense. In the first couple games, we struggled,” said Kepple. “We’ve just been working with a couple of different defenses that have been working well for us, and the girls have been disciplined with [the new defenses].”

By mixing man and zone, Union appeared comfortable in their own schemes, yet were able to stop and confuse the Cranberry offense.

The Damsels produced numerous steals from jumping into passing lanes, denying the Berries’ efforts to get inside. As the quarter wore on, Logue began to assert her dominance over the game, scoring six of Union’s eight second quarter points to bring a 18-2 lead into the half. Kepple was glowing about Logue’s strong night.

“On both ends of the floor, she really works well for us,” said Kepple. “She’s a great team player [who] always looks out for her teammates. She pass[es] it when they’re open, and she rebounds well for us. She’s an all-around great player.”

The beginning of the third quarter was more balanced, as both teams were able to convert on their open shot opportunities. Union was able to turn a series of turnovers into fast break points, while Cranberry found their mid-range touch. The Damsels closed the quarter strong, going on a 14-2 run to build their lead to 26 points going into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was a subdued affair, as the Damsels rotated their lineup and the pace of the game slowed. There was little scoring in the fourth, as the Damsels coasted home with a 40-11 victory.

“[The girls] knew we needed this game,” said Kepple, who will be hoping for more of the same from her squad as the season gets into full swing.