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.

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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 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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