Union County handles business, defeats Lumpkin varsity teams

Sports, Union County High School

Friday Jan 4, the Panthers faced off in a region matchup against the Lumpkin County Indians. The Lady Panthers tipped off at 7pm, the Lady Panthers got off to a hot start, taking a 12-3 lead as the first quarter came to a close.

The Lady Panthers continued to impress in the second quarter, led by sophomore center Kait Mccarter.  Mccarter nearly had a double-double in the first half, with 10 points scored and eight boards collected before the end of the first two quarters of play.

After halftime, the Lady Panthers showed no signs of letting up.  They went on a 10-3 run to end the third quarter with a score of 34-19 going into the fourth, a somewhat comfortable 15-pt lead.

The fourth quarter was a duplication of the previous three, demonstrated with an 11-2 run by the Lady Panthers, who at one point led by as many as 24.

The Lady Panthers top scorers were senior guard Bailey Daniel who had 19 (she is 7 points away from 1000!) and sophomore forward Kait Mccarter with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

The Lady Panthers improve to 10-4 and 3-1 in 7-AAA.  The next game will be Saturday, Jan 5, at Andrews (NC) at 5:30pm.

Varsity boys dominate in 76-54 win over Lumpkin County

The Panthers followed the Lady Panthers, tipping off at 8:30pm Friday night.

The varsity boys got off to a hot start, with starting forward Sawyer Drake scoring 12 straight points to put Union County up 23-17 after the first quarter of regulation.

Early in the second, however, tragedy struck as the super sophomore was forced to limp off the court in pain.  Preliminary reports speculate Drake suffered a torn meniscus, an injury that would certainly leave some large shoes to fill for the Panthers.

As the team regrouped, they continued to keep the momentum in their favor and led by as many as 17 in before heading to the locker room at halftime, leading by 13, 40-27.

The third quarter was much of the same, as the Panthers came out and went back to work.  They managed the ball well offensively, avoided unnecessary fouls,  and continued to apply pressure defensively; extending their lead at the end of the third by a score of 64-39. A large part of that effort offensively came from senior forward Crawford Colwell, who had produced 21 points going into the final quarter of play.

Union (12-2, 3-1) finished the game with a final score of 76-54. They traveled to Andrews (NC) on Saturday, full story to follow.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Union County takes 3rd in Battle of the States

Sports, Union County High School

Friday Dec. 29, the panthers looked to finish off day 3 of the Battle of the States tournament. Both teams were 1-1 and were playing for 3rd place. Both were playing towns. The lady panthers dominated all assets of the game.

The lady Indians were missing star freshman forward Kennedi Henson and the lady panthers capitalized early and often as the panthers out rebounded the lady Indians 16-6 in the first half. The score was 13-8 at the end of Q1.

The lead grew of the course of Q2 at the half the score was 24-13 as sophomore guard Brooke Dockrey led the team with 8 points. At the end of Q3 38-22. Union ended the game with a final score of 52-33 at sophomore guard Brooke Dockrey had 16 and senior guard Bailey Daniel had 14.

Union out rebounded the lady Indians 28-12 as The lady panthers finished 3 and had one all tournament selection which was Bailey Daniel. The lady panthers are currently ranked 11th in AAA and host the #14 lady Vikings Jan. 2nd @ 6.

The panthers also faced towns county both teams 1-1 and playing for 3rd place. Towns was out star center Logan Cowart and Union capitalized off of the low post weakness.
Union got off to a hot start and never let down.
UC led 23-12 at the end of Q1 as senior Patrick Bagget hit a buzzer beating 3 to extend the lead. Union was hot from beyond the arc in the first half as union had 11 3 pointers in the first half. Led by sophomore guard Pierson Allison.
Pierson went 5-5 in the first half from beyond the Arc. Senior Cole Davis also hit a 3 at the buzzer to extend the halftime lead 54-25. Union also led 68-42 at the end of Q3. The final score was 82-59 as UC improves to 11-1.
Union hosts the #12 in AAA East Hall on Jan. 2nd. @7:30.

Pipe bust forces basketball schedule changes

Sports, Union County High School

A hyrdonic pipe burst in the sprinkler system outside of the Union County High School gymnasium caused administrators to make a quick decision with regard for the safety of students, spectators and school administration.  The East Hall High School basketball teams were scheduled to play at UCHS, but with water leaking and likely to freeze on the sidewalk outside the entrance of the facility; the decision to reschedule was an obvious choice.

“The pipe broke before East Hall got there,” UCHS athletic director Bryan Allison told TeamFYNSports Wednesday afternoon.  The good news:  It’s already been fixed.

The bad news?  Not necessarily bad – but the games have been rescheduled for tonight (Wed) at East Hall High School in Gainesville.  The varsity girls tip-off at 5pm, with the boys game following at 6:30pm.  TeamFYNSports will provide courtside coverage and a full story about the game will be up tomorrow.

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Union Girls top Darlington, Boys force ‘Mercy Rule’ against Peidmont

Sports, TeamFYNSports, Union County High School

By Isaiah Garrett, TeamFYNSports reporter

Wednesday Dec. 27, Union County played in the 24th annual Battle of the States tournament. The lady panthers tipped off at 4pm playing against Darlington School.

The lady panthers got off to a slow start falling behind 16-14  at the end of the first. However, Senior Bailey Daniel led a lady panther 3 point parade by shooting 3-4 from downtown in the 2nd quarter.

Union led 31-26 at the half. Both teams were plagued with turnovers in the 3rd quarter, a combined 14 turnovers led to a score of 38-33 at the end of the 3rd. However, Darlington battled back to tie the game at 52 with only 57 seconds left in regulation.

Junior forward Adeline Dockrey made an incredible fade-away hook shot with 17 seconds left to grab the lead, a shot so impressive you had to see it to believe it. A Darlington 3-pointer at the buzzer fell inches short as it bounced off the rim.  Union takes the win, 54-52.

Bailey Daniel led the panthers with 22. The lady panthers advanced to the semi-finals to play Murphy, NC at 4pm on Dec 28th. Full story to follow.

Panthers force ‘mercy rule’ in dominant 69-27 victory
The panthers tipped off at 5:30 against Piedmont AL. Piedmont was ranked the #2 team in class AAA in the preseason.
Union got off to a hot start leading 13-8 as Union had 4 steals in the first quarter. Union took a 18-5 run to extend the lead going into the half, leading 31-13.
Sophomore Pierson Allison led the panthers with 11 points in the first half. Union continued the hot start in the second half and at the end of Q3 led 54-24.
Due to the mercy rule, the 4th quarter was shortened from 8 to 6 minutes. Union finished the game with a score of 69-27. Sophomores Pierson allison (14) and Sawyer Drake (13) led a very balanced panther attack into the semi-finals. Union advanced to play Murphy at 5:30pm on Thursday.  Full story to follow.

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Battle of the States: 1st Round Recap

Sports, Towns County High School

The 24th Annual Battle of the States Christmas Tournament kicked off in Hiawassee, Georgia on Wednesday, Dec 27. The tournament consists of eight boys and eight girls teams, who represent GA, NC, TN, and AL.  There will be eight games a day for all three days of the tournament.

Here are the the first day results from the girls’ side of the bracket:

In the 10am game, Murphy NC beat Lumpkin County Girls by a score of 76-55. Post, Jessica Beckner led the Lady Bulldogs with 24 pts. Lumpkin was led in scoring by Makenzie Pulley, who had 19 pts.

In the 1pm game, Hokes Bluff, Alabama defeated Polk County, TN by a score of 32 – 23. Amanda Noah led Hokes Bluff with 21 pts. Nikki Ball led Polk County with 11 pts.

In the 4pm game, Union County defeated Darlington Academy in a close fought contest.  Union pulled out a 54-52 victory as Darlington missed a game-tying field goal as time expired. Adeline Mockery paced the Lady Panthers with 22 pts. Caroline Dingler led Darlington with 21 pts.

In the 7pm tilt, the Towns County Lady Indians defeated rival, Hayesville, NC by a score of 52-42. Towns County kept the lead the whole first half, taking a 22-19 lead into intermission. The two teams were tied at 26 before Towns County’s press stretched the lead to 43-30 at the end of the third. Towns closed the game with a 10pt victory. Freshman, Kennedi Henson led Towns with 16. Junior, Taylor Cornett gave 9 pts, with a trifecta of long distance shots. Senior Madison McClure had 8 pts, hitting four crucial free throws in the game’s final minutes. Hayesville was led in scoring by Junior, Savanna Annis with 18 pts. Hailea Rickett finished with 17 pts.

Day Two of the Battle of States tournament will feature 4 girls and 4 boys games through the whole day of Thursday, December 28th. The tournament will conclude on Friday, December 29th with 8 more games to determine Battle of the States’ Champions, as well as 2nd through 5th place for Boys and Girls.

Day 2 Schedule (Thursday, Dec. 28)

10 am – Lumpkin County vs Darlington Academy (Girls)

11:30- Piedmont, AL vs Lumpkin County (Boys)

1:00 – Polk County, TN vs Hayesville, NC (Girls)

2:30 – Polk County, TN vs Hayesville, NC (Boys)

4:00 – Union County vs Murphy, NC (Girls)

5:30 – Union County vs Murphy, NC (Boys)

7:00 – Towns County vs Hokes Bluff, AL (Girls)

8:30 –  Towns County vs Hokes Bluff, AL (Boys)

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Lady Panthers fall to North Hall, Panthers streak continues

Sports, TeamFYNSports
Courtside coverage by Isaiah Garrett, Union County Sports Writer
     On Friday, Dec 15, the Union County Panthers took the long road trip from Blairsville to Gainesville to take on the North Hall Trojans.  Unfortunately for the boys, the trip home most likely felt much longer than the ride prior to tip-off.
     The Lady Panthers knew they were in for a tough battle, as they were without their star center Kait Mccarter (#30) for this game.  Mccarter left some very large sneakers to fill and her absence proved to be a critical one, not only offensively but also under the bucket on defense.
     No strangers to victory, the Lady Trojans recognized Mccarter’s absence immediately and took pressure toward the basket with each possession, while also rushing inside defensively to crash the boards for rebounds.  The Lady Trojans were able to dominate possession of the ball and ultimately ran away with the game early.
     At the half, the Lady Panthers were already down 30-19.  Ultimately the Panthers lost 58-36, falling to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in Region 7-AAA, but the absence inside the box was the real loss as Union was out-rebounded 32-14. .  Offensively, skilled sophomore Andelin Hill led the way in the scorebook with 7 points in the game.
     For the boys game, the anxious and highly-motivated Panthers varsity started strong and were primed to win their seventh game in a row; their first in region play.  However, a technical foul against senior Crawford Colwell (#24) in the first quarter resulted in an ejection, and completely changed the dynamic of the game.  The Panthers’ bench would have to come together and step up to keep their perfect record alive.
     Thanks to some great coaching and a collaborative will to win, the Panthers would prevail.
     Union led 32-28 at the half, thanks to great hustle by the team on defense and a solid performance by sophomore Sawyer Drake (#14), who led the way with 11 points in the first half of play.
     Sophomores Pierson Allison (#21) and Sawyer Drake (#14) had a combined 40 points to lead the Panthers to a 52-49 victory over the Trojans and improve to 7-0 and 2-0 in the region.
     The next game will be Tuesday, Dec 19 as Union County fills the busses once again and hit the road, due south, for a non-region game against the Gilmer County Bobcats (Region 6-AAAA).
     Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Union County hosts annual football banquet

UCHS Football

By Isaiah Garrett, TeamFYNSports Reporter

On Tuesday, Dec 5, the Union County Panthers held their annual banquet and award ceremony. This event was hosted at Antioch Baptist Church in Blairsville, and it was the first time Antioch had ever hosted the banquet. Organized by the Union County Quarterback Club, the event proved to be another success thanks to the hard work and participation by everyone involved.

The night got kicked off as players and families were fed steak and spaghetti dinners.

Head coach Brian Allison followed up the meal by starting the awards ceremony and introducing all of the coaches on his staff.  The awards, which are  selected by the coaches, are each given to the hardest working player at that position (and to whom contributed the most on and off the field to the team).   The receivers “caught” their awards first – no pun intended.

Outside receiver coach Paul McBride presented his award to Sawyer Drake. Drake had 38 receptions for a team-high 63 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Inside receiver coach James Avery selected senior Austin Pattee for his reward.  Pattee led the team with 43 catches.

Quarterbacks and running backs coach (and offensive coordinator) Howard Mccombs was the next to present his award, and everyone in the room knew exactly where it was going. Senior quarterback Cole Wright had an outstanding season.  Wright will continue his playing career at the United States Military Academy, also known as Army or West Point, where he plans to enroll next fall.  Wright finished the year with 3,081 total yards of offensive and a combined 36 touchdowns.

To close the Offensive awards out, junior lineman Coleson Daniel was presented with the Offensive Line award, presented by coach Neil Setzer and Parker Daniel.  Without the effort and consistent blocking up front, the offense would not have performed as well as it did this year.  Coleson Daniel was a huge part of that effort.

Defensive Coordinator and defensive backs coach Robby Roxbury was first to kick off the defensive awards, and senior cornerback Sean Dobbins was presented with the defensive backs award.  Dobbins finished the season with 50 total tackles.

Senior lineman Matthew Beise was awarded the defensive line award by coach Gabe Miller.  Beise finished the season with 48 total tackles.

Inside linebackers coach Greg Chambers awarded senior RJ Banton, who led the team in total tackles with 108 tackles.

Outside Linebackers coach Wade Hodges awarded senior and 3-year varsity starter Cole Dockrey with the Iron Panther award.  This award is given to the player who contributes on both sides of the ball, displays the highest work ethic on and off the field, and is a leader in more ways than one. Dockery finished the season with 50 total tackles, 372 yards of offense, and a touchdown.

It was a night of celebration as players, coaches and family members gathered to reflect on the performance by the Union County Panthers varsity football team one last time this year.

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Could Major Changes in 7-AAA Football be Coming?

Sports

Now that the regular season has come and gone, post-season GHSA changes start. The 2016-17 football scene could change for several teams. The realignment comes after a vote to make a new region “Super 44” which puts the top schools with 2,000+ kids in one super region. Now this changes everything from 6A to 1A. For every team that moves up or down another team has to do the same. Schools like Buford who have more than 3% of its kids outside the county are forced to move up with the new rules. Fannin and Banks Counties are looking like they will move down to AA, while East Hall, Lumpkin, Franklin and West Hall are moving to AAAA. Dawson County will remain the only 7-AAA team if all this plays out like suggested. It is unclear just yet as to what region Fannin will move to, but when we find out after the GHSA makes the changes later this year TeamFYNSports will keep you updated.

Here is a look at what things could look like next football season. Click Here

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