The three-time defending champs had a tough start on its quest for a fourth consecutive title. Led by 41 points by Jazmine Spears, New Albany pulled out a 64-52 win over West Union to open the 2012 Union County Tournament on Thursday.
Spears scored 12 first quarter points, helping the Lady Bulldogs to a 17-8 lead, but West Union stayed within striking distance with 11 first half points from Samantha Bridges.
Down four at the break, Bridges helped the Lady Eagles in the third, scoring nine of the team’s 14 points, and Bailey Bogue scored five straight to tie the game at 40. From that point on, New Albany took control, scoring 16 straight to take the win.
Britney Johnson scored added 10 points for New Albany, who advance to Saturday’s championship game. Bridges led West Union with 23 points, followed by Mallory Newby with 10 points off the bench.
Ingomar 69 West Union 47 (boys)
Henry Foster scored a game-high 18 points off the bench for Ingomar against West Union, advancing the Falcons to a Friday match-up with Myrtle.
The Eagles opened the game, scoring the first six points only to have Ingomar answer with an 8-0 run. Will Busby tied the game later at 12, and Chase Cooper gave West a one-point edge, 15-14, after the first.
Ingomar was able to take control in the second quarter, while the Eagles had missed opportunities at the free-throw line, going 1-for-7, finding themselves down 28-24 at the half.
The Falcons distanced themselves in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 21-12 in the third and West Union only had two made baskets in the quarter.
Following Foster was Matt Hale with 13 points, LaQuain Foster with 12 points and Steven Foster with 11 points.
Chase Taylor finished with 14 points to lead West Union and Busby with 10.
Ingomar will take on the Hawks at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
Ingomar 44 East Union 40 (girls)
The day’s final showdown was exciting through the end, with Ingomar advancing to Friday’s semifinal against Myrtle.
Fresh off their first win of the season, East Union remained close throughout, down 11-8 after the first quarter. Ashley Leach tied the contest briefly at 13 and later gave the Lady Urchins a 29-28 lead in the third quarter.
The senior was 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the fourth, making it a 41-40 game with less than a minute remaining. Mallory Adair followed that with two missed free throws for Ingomar, but Hannah Russell put the Lady Falcons ahead by three with a put back after the second missed free throw.
Reid Little led the Lady Falcons with 14 points, followed by 13 points from Emily Hall and Adiar scored 10.
Leach led East Union with 11 points.
Ingomar will next play top seeded Myrtle at 5 p.m. on Friday.
5 p.m. Girls Semifinal- Myrtle vs. Ingomar
6:30 p.m. Boys Semifinal- Myrtle vs. Ingomar
8 p.m. Boys Semifinal- New Albany vs. East Union