Becoming the first team from Wise County to win a game in the tournament, the Bears upended Wasilla (Alaska) 65-62.
Senior forward and kicker on the football team Justin Falin had a huge block on the defensive end to preserve the victory for the Bears. He also accounted for 11 points.
“We had just gotten on to Justin the possession before because he was supposed to be the help defense and he didn’t slide over. He definitely made up for himself on that,” Union head coach Zack Moore said. “He stepped over and made a great defensive play.”
The Bears shot lights out from beyond the 3-point arc, nailing 13 of them — not far from Memphis White Station’s 2003 record of 16.
Noah Garrison led Union with 21 points while freshman guard Andy Jones showed out again with 20. Alex Rasnick added 11.
The Bears were outrebounded 31-21, but didn’t give up nearly as many offensive boards (10) as they did to Tabernacle Baptist in the opener, which had 18.
“We created 3-point opportunities and they were going in for us,” Moore said. “It’s pretty cool to be the first team, but hopefully it won’t be the last.”
Wasilla was led by Daniel Headdings and Andrew Devine, each finishing with 18 points. Devins also had 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Union will not play again until Monday, Dec. 31 in the consolation game against an opponent yet to be determined. Wasilla is eliminated.
Bearden 87, Tabernacle Baptist 38
Despite neither team scoring for the first four minutes of the game, the Bulldogs got going and never looked back in their first-round beatdown of Tabernacle Baptist.
Superb guard play lifted Bearden behind 22 points from Trent Stephney and 20 from Ques Glover.
The Bulldogs had three others in double figures: Roman Robinson (17), Shamarcus Brown (12) and Tyler Nordin (10).
The Falcons finished with more turnovers than field goals (18-16) and got 11 points from Joshua Dames. Ethan Munroe was also in double digits with 10.
Bearden will play Mount Bethel on Friday at 8 p.m. while Tabernacle goes at noon against Sullivan East.
Orem (Utah) 66, Greeneville 50
The Golden Tigers got out to a quick 28-9 lead in the second quarter and sprinted to a first-round victory over the Greene Devils.
Ike Richards led Orem with 18 points while Shem Johnson had 15 and Taft Mitchell finished with 13.
Orem had 13 assists on 26 made field goals and shared the basketball well as seven players found their way into the scoring column.
Greeneville was led by Tyler Marsh finishing with 11. One night after finishing with 29, Jaevon Gillespie scored just two points for the Greene Devils.
The Greene Devils will play Gate City at 1:30 p.m. on Friday in an elimination game. Orem meets Wenonah in the winners’ bracket.
Winonah, Ala. 69, Gate City, Va. 68
Primed to open the 36th annual Arby's Classic with another win, Gate City fell victim to a late Winonah rally and suffered a one-point defeat at the hands of the bunch from Birmingham, Alabama.
Winonah (16-2) won it when Cameron Tucker scored with two seconds to play, converting a baseline layup off a nice feed from a penetrating Justin Minter. The game-winner completed a comeback that saw the Dragons overcome a 62-54 deficit in the game's final 2 1/2 minutes.
Tucker totaled 23 points for the Winonah, which got 14 from JaDerryus Eatmon. Jayden Sanders added 12.
Zac Ervin had a huge game for the Blue Devils (4-1), piling up 37 points. Bradley Dean cut loose for 26, but the rest of Gate City’s team produced only five points.