One of the primary goals for the Urchins this season was to make it out of the first round of the north half playoffs. Facing Coahoma AHS on Monday, East Union had a chance and remained close through the first quarter, but the Tigers eventually pulled away for the 65-35 win.
Down 16-11 after the first, Chris Tables opened the second quarter with a three that made it a two-point game, but Coahoma responded, finishing the half outscoring the Urchins, 17-1.
“We lived by the three all year, and it comes to a point in the season where those three’s will not be nearly as visible, much harder to get off,” coach Tim McDonald said. “That’s where we’ve been in trouble this year with long, athletic teams. It gets tough to get over because it adds that much more pressure to everyone.”
East’s offensive struggles carried into the second half, with the Tigers making it 52-21 heading into the final frame. Trey Thompson led the Tigers with 31 points, 21 of which came in the second half, and it was the Tigers’ height and athleticism that eventually overpowered the Urchins.
“It’s just a matter of time. They’re going to find you weaknesses, for sure,” McDonald said.
“ They came out on our shooters early, and we anticipated that. It’s about adjustments, and we couldn’t really make the ones we needed,” he added.
Trey Barkley finished with nine points to lead East Union, who finished the season at 16-14 and played for a division tournament championship while making it to the first round of north half for the second consecutive year.
“We met some goals that we set for ourselves earlier in the year. We desperately wanted to get out of the first round since we’ve been stuck here for the last several years, but it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t get that particular goal,” McDonald said.
“For the most part, I’m really proud of the guys. This is probably the winningest season we’ve had in about eight years, so I can’t say enough about their effort.”
Bulldogs, Hawks move on in north half
New Albany and Myrtle both advanced in its respective classes, as the Bulldogs topped Kosciusko at home, 95-70, and the Hawks outlasted Houlka, 67-63, on the road.
Daniel Drummond led a group of five Bulldogs who scored in double figures, finishing with 22 points. The senior was followed by Moses Kingsley with 15, Eric Chaney and Jarel Lipsey, each with 12, and William Harding with 11 points.
In its road game at Houlka, the Hawks fought off a second half comeback by Wildcats to advance to the north half tournament at Biggersville.
Trailing by seven at the half, Houlka came back to tie the game at 47 after the third quarter and took a brief lead in the fourth.
Robert Montgomery led Myrtle with 22 points, followed by Jonathan West with 15 points, Keon Hampton with 13 points and Phillip Young with 10 points.
Ingomar’s season came to an end on Tuesday, as the Falcons fell, 73-48, at West Oktibbeha.
New Albany will play Greenwood on Thursday, while Myrtle will take on Coffeeville in 1A north half at Biggersville.