Luckett gets first win over Newton at Union

By ROBBIE ROBERTSON,

Union boys’ basketball coach Josh Luckett has been telling his Yellowjackets that the Division 4-2A race was wide open.

They proved him right on Friday night as the Jackets held on to take a 57-54 win over the Newton Tigers.

The Yellowjackets followed that up with a 57-44 loss to Heidelberg on Saturday.

The Union girls dropped a 46-40 decision to Newton on Friday night but bounced back and took a 58-25 win over the Lady Oilers on Saturday in Bay Springs.

For Luckett, it was his first win over Newton since taking over the Union program.

“That’s a big win for us,” Luckett said. “Since I have been here, that’s our first time to beat them. We played two good games last year and lost one at the buzzer. But we pulled one out this year. That’s a big win for our kids. I’ve been telling my kids that the district is wide open. I would have said that Newton was the preseason No. 1 and have been telling my guys it’s wide open. I think if we can put together what we have been doing, we have a good chance.”

Union built a sizeable lead on the Tigers on Friday night as they led 11-7 at the end of the first and 28-19 at the half. Union built the lead to double digits in the third by outscoring Newton 17-15 to take a 45-34 lead into the fourth.

“I think we came out with a lot of energy and got a lead early and got some confidence,” Luckett said. “We played some pretty good defense and they didn’t hit a lot of shots like they usually do. We were able to guard them and limit their 3-point shots.”

The Tigers did make a run as they outscored Union 20-14 in the fourth and cut the lead to a single point with 20.3 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws.

P.J. Gage sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 10.7 seconds left. Newton had a shot to tie the game at the buzzer, but it clanked off the back iron.

He led a balanced scoring attack as he had 12 points while Casey Morris added 11 points. Jamarcus Jones had 10 points while Jay Norris had seven, Michael McDonald had six and Stephen Lewis added five.

Jamarion Pace led Newton with 14 points while Tony Burks added 12 and Dazmeon Page chipped in 10.

Union returns to action this week with a pair of division games as they host Scott Central on Tuesday and travel to Lake on Friday.

Newton girls 46, Union 40

In another tight contest, the Lady Jackets couldn’t overcome a scoreless second quarter and dropped a six-point decision to the Lady Tigers.

Union led 10-5 at the end of the first before the Lady Jackets got in foul trouble and were outscored 15-0 in the second to trail 20-10 at the half. Newton stretched its lead to 13 points in the third to make the score 33-20 before Union made a run in the fourth to make it close.

Nia McAlphia led Newton with 16 points while Myja McNichols had 15 and JaLeah Hickmon added 10. Mackenzie Dolan led Newton with 25 points, 21 of that in the second half.

Heidelberg boys 57, Union 44

The Oilers used a big third period as the difference in a 13-point win over Union.

Union led 14-13 at the end of the first and went into the half tied at 30. But the Oilers outscored Union 20-5 to take a 50-35 lead into the fourth.

P.J. Gage led Union with 15 points while J.T. Vance had eight points and Jay Norris added seven.

Union girls 58, Heidelberg 25

The Lady Jackets jumped out early and scored often in a 33-point win over Heidelberg on Saturday.

Union led 27-8 at the end of the first period and 41-10 at the half. The Lady Jackets extended its lead in the third, outscoring Heidelberg 16-10 to lead 55-20 at the end of the third.

Parker Breland led Union with 17 points while Mackenzie Dolan had 14 points. Ansley Rigby had eight points while Kayleigh Vance and Keirra McBeath each scored six points apiece.