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The claws came out last week as the Union High School Tigers faced down the Paw Paw Pirates in UEC's homecoming game.
While the Tigers ultimately lost the game by a single point, 47-46 in overtime the small team proved their strength as their players kept up a coordinated offensive and defensive push until the very last buzzer.
The 2018-19 season has been a tough one for the Tigers, who have picked up only two wins this season and eight losses. One of the two wins the team was in their second game of the season in their first match-up against Paw Paw. In that game, the Tigers won 62-44. The other UEC win so far this season was against Lighthouse Academy, 72-66.
Other match-ups this season have been against Harman (52- 24), Turkeyfoot Valley High School (82-55), Tygarts Valley High School (62-33), Moorefield (72-24 and 74-18), Petersburg (77-31) and South Harrison High School (63-23).
While the team is boasting only a 2-8 record so far this season, the team is still scheduled to play 12 more games this season, giving the team plenty of opportunity to improve those numbers.
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For the third year in a row, the Petersburg High School Vikings left the court as the reigning champions of the annual Holiday Tournament. The event is held in Petersburg each year and features four local teams, including fellow Grant County team, Union High School, as well as Moorefield High School from Hardy County and Pendleton County High School.
During the opening game, the two out-of-county teams, the MHS Yellow Jackets and the PCHS Wildcats, faced off. In the end, the Wildcats picked up the first win of the event, beating the Yellow Jackets, 60- 53.
The second game of the event saw the two local teams meet on the court. The game was a sound victory for Petersburg, who brought the advantage of not only a home court but also in team size.
The game opened with the Tigers leading, putting in a solid offensive showing, ending the first period 18-16. The first half remained relatively tight, with the Vikings picking up their time at the net in the second period and grabbing eight points and holding the Tigers back as they grabbed two points, sending the game into half time at 24-20.
The third quarter saw the Tigers struggle against the Vikings as the larger team’s offense. By the end of the third, the Vikings had expanded their lead by 30 points, ending the third period at 56-26. The Vikings’ lead held during the fourth with the game ending 71-31 and setting the Vikings up to go into the championship game against Pendleton and pitting the Tigers against the Yellow Jackets.
During the Union game against Petersburg, scorers for the Tigers were: Colton Reed with eight points, Blaine Sisler grabbing four points, Kenneth Adams picking up seven points, D. Gaither grabbing one, Daniel Savacy scoring four points, S. Bailey picking up five points and P. Haines picking up two.
Scorers for Petersburg were: Hunter Pool with 29 points, Tyce Wisnewski with 13 points, Jacob Hartman with 12 points, Peyton Sindledecker with seven points, Charlie Moomau with five points, Nathan Park, Lane Huffman, Slade Saville, Cody Nuzum and Jacob Hawk with two points and Logan Beach with one point.
During the game, the Viking picked up 50 rebounds, including 12 from Hartman, eight from Sindledecker and seven from Pool, 19 assists, including five from Wisnewski and five from Sindledecker and 28 steals, including six from Kahner Turner and and five from Pool.
In their game against the Yellow Jackets, the Tigers fell 74-18.
In the championship game, the Vikings faced down the Wildcats, ultimately win the match and the tournament 56-50.
The Vikings picked up an early lead, ending the first period 18-12. This lead lasted the rest of the game, ending the second period at 28-22, the third at 43-32 and the fourth at 56-50.
Scorers for the Vikings in the game against the Wildcats were: Dalton Lough with eight points, Wisnewski with five points, Pool with 12 points, Sindledecker with four points, Hartman with 10 points, and Turner with 14 points.