Mason Soviak of North Union dunks the ball after a breakaway during Wednesday’s game at NU against London. Soviak tallied eight points to help the Wildcats win, 37-36.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The North Union Wildcats experienced some highs and some lows on Wednesday when they faced off against future conference opponent London.
The biggest high was the final score of 37-36 in the Wildcats’ favor .
NU got out of the gate hard and scored the game’s first points.
The Red Raiders answered back with a trio of three-point goals to take the lead and swing the momentum.
Mason Soviak got the home fans excited when he came up with a steal on a breakaway. He slammed the ball in the basket on a dunk, but hung onto the rim a little too long and was whistled for a technical foul.
By the end of the first quarter London had a 14-10 lead.
London stepped up its zone defensive pressure, making it difficult for the Wildcats to get into an offensive flow.
As a result, North Union managed just five points during the second period.
“The key was they came out and did some things in their zone that they haven’t done all year,” said Wildcats head coach Brian Terrill. “They flattened their guys deep and distorted the zone. We couldn’t get our guys to run anything.”
The Red Raiders stretched their lead as the Wildcats switched from a man-to-man to zone defense. The switch didn’t work as planned as London took a 24-15 lead into the locker room.
“It wasn’t our best game and a game with that few of points being down 10, is like being down 20,” Terrill said.
The Cats made some adjustments during the break and the effects were felt quickly after the turn as they went on a seven point run.
Cody Neel helped with a three-pointer as NU pulled to within 29-28 by the end of the third quarter.
“I don’t know if it was obvious or not, but we made a change and went to an entirely different offense,” said Terrill. “We had Cody (Neel) on the top and Harley (Day) overloading things.”
London was able to end the run with an inside drive to begin the fourth quarter.
Day responded with a layup of his own to keep the gap at one point.
Riley Price returned the lead to the Cats with a deep trifecta that put the game at 33-31.
London was able to answer to knot it up at 33, but Soviak got tied up down low to head to the charity stripe.
His first free throw broke the stalemate.
The second offering missed, but Day snared the rebound and scored to turn the sequence into a three-point play and a 36-33 NU lead.
London hit a big three point shot to tie up the game with 2:30 left on the clock.
North Union inbounded the ball and for the next two minutes, each team stood watching the other as the clock kept ticking.
Neither team wanted to make the first move until the final 20 seconds of the contest.
Price tossed the ball to Day at the top of the key. Day made a move to his left and drove to the basket.
London attempted to stop his forward movement, but picked up a blocking foul in the process.
Day hit one-of-two from the line to give North Union a 37-36 lead.
Terrill put in his defensive squad that only allowed the Red Raiders to toss up a desperate three-point attempt as time expired.
The win improved the Cats’ record to 5-5 on the season.
North Union will return to the court on Friday by traveling to take on Mid Ohio Athletic Conference opponent River Valley.
NU 10 05 13 09 37
Lon. 14 10 05 07 36
North Union: Day 4-4-12, Soviak 3-2-8, Price 3-0-7, Neel 2-0-6, Feasel 1-0-2, Terrill 1-0-2
Three-point goals: Neel 2, Price 1
London: Woodyard 6-1-16, Andrich 5-2-14, Fox 2-0-6
Three-point goals: Woodyard 3, Andrich 2, Fox 2
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