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Making a statement

Eagles top Union City to take over second place in Region 3

Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Youngsville’s Joe Mack (5) goes for a layup against Union City’s Matthew Bennett (12) during the second quarter of their game at Youngsville High School, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. Mack finished with a game-high 16 points to lead the Eagles to a 56-44 Region 3 win over the Bears.

The progression of the Youngsville boys basketball team took another tick in the upward direction Friday.

With their leading scorer held largely in check, the Eagles were still able to take control early and put the game away late in a 56-44 Region 3 win over visiting Union City. Their seventh straight win, this one in front of a packed house, gave Youngsville sole possession of second place in the region.

“We came out ready to play,” Youngsville coach Jesse DeLoof said. “It was nice to see the crowd tonight. We appreciate everyone coming out.”

Youngsville (10-3 overall, 3-1 Region 3) gave those home fans plenty to cheer about early. The Eagles opened with a 14-1 run and held Union City (6-6, 3-2) without a field goal until the final 30 seconds of the quarter.

“We tell our guys we want five ‘turkeys’ (three straight defensive stops) per game,” DeLoof said. “I think we had three just in the first quarter. We had a ton of stops early.”

Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Youngsville’s Dominic Dell (00) puts a shot up past the outstretched arm of Union City’s Jamon Higley (21) during the first quarter of their game at Youngsville High School, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. Dell and the Eagles picked up a 56-44 Region 2 win over the Bears.

Offensively, Brady Olewine and Joe Mack took turns getting baskets for the Eagles. They combined for the first 11 points and Timber Bower knocked down a three to cap the 14-1 run. Youngsville needed the pair to step up, as leading scorer Gage Hendrickson (16.4 ppg) was held to just nine points, with two field goals, for the game.

“We’re an equal opportunity offense,” DeLoof said. “The guys are so unselfish. They all know what they can do.”

Youngsville led 18-6 after the first quarter, but some early foul trouble allowed Union City to try to climb back in and disrupt the Eagles’ offensive flow a bit in the second. The Bears cut the lead to eight several times in the waning minutes, but a Dominic Dell basket with 25 seconds left gave the Eagles a 29-19 halftime advantage.

“We had to work through some foul trouble early, but we were smart about it,” DeLoof said.

The Eagles opened the second half with an 8-3 run to push the lead to 37-22. Youngsville again tightened up defensively and held Union City to just eight points in the frame.

Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Youngsville students cheer as Eagles players leave the court for halftime of a game against Union City at Youngsville High School, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. The Eagles defeated the Bears, 56-44, in front of a packed house.

“I thought we would be able to hold them down,” DeLoof said.

Union City again cut the deficit to eight, 44-36, early in the fourth quarter, but Mack and Olewine hit on consecutive posssessions to push the lead back to 12. The final two minutes became a free throw shooting contest for the Eagles, who answered by going 10-13 from the line to close out the win.

“We made a statement tonight,” DeLoof said. “It’s been a long time since Youngsville beat Union City and it was nice to get this one. They’re a well-coached team and a successful program, but our guys expect to get the win now.”

Mack had a game-high 16 points for the Eagles. Olewnie added 15 and Kesterholt seven.

Higley led the Bears with 13 points.

Youngsville hosts Saegertown Tuesday in another Region 3 battle.

“The guys earned this win,” DeLoof said. “But now we’ve got to get the next one.”

Wyatt Post had 16 points to lead Union City to a 44-43 junior varsity win.

Xavier Mowry had a game-high 19 points for the Eagles, while Dell added 12 in the loss.

——

Union City (44)

DeSimone 2-4-4-9, Hornaman 1-0-0-2, Bojaczko 1-2-2-4, Bennett 3-1-3-8, DuFala 2-0-0-4, Higley 4-3-4-13, Post 2-0-0-4, Struble 0-0-0-0, Uber 0-0-0-0, Jewell 0-0-0-0, Thomas 0-0-0-0, Total 15-10-13-44

Youngsville (56)

Hendrickson 2-5-6-9, Bower 2-0-0-5, Mack 7-2-2-16, Olewine 7-0-0-15, Kesterholt 1-5-9-7, Dell 2-0-0-4, Proctor 0-0-0-0, Peterson 0-0-0-0, Total 21-12-17-56

By Quarters

Union City 6 13 8 17 – 44

Youngsville 18 11 13 14 – 56

3-point FGs: Union City (4)-Higley 2, Bennett, DeSimone. Youngsville (2)-Bower, Olewine.

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