Preston Crabtree, center, of North Union, drives to the basket while Mason Soviak, right, and a Galion defender watch on. Crabtree added six points to the scoreboard during the Wildcats’ 53-39 loss.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
The North Union Wildcats are a basketballball team that has experienced the growing pains of youth.
The Cats can play like seasoned veterans on one night, followed by a game where nothing seems to go their way.
NU’s game against Galion on Thursday fell into the latter category as the Cats fell 53-39.
“This is really the first bad game we have played all season, in my opinion,” said head coach Brian Terrill. “We have been beaten in games, but we have played fairly well. This is the first night we just didn’t play well and we are not good enough to compete if we don’t play well.”
The poor play didn’t rear its head until later in the contest, as the Cats were able to keep Galion close during the first eight minutes.
North Union found shots early by using their big man, Mason Soviak, down low for high percentage baskets.
Riley Price made his presence known from beyond the arc with a trey to help North Union notch 13 points at the end of the first quarter.
NU trailed 16-13 after one stanza.
As time wore on, the Tigers found a way to shut down the Cats’ offensive efforts.
North Union struggled to find the bottom of the basket in the second quarter as it registered only four points from Price and Soviak.
As a result, Galion ran its lead up to 24-17 by halftime.
“During the first half, everybody was just trying to do too much,” said Terrill. “We didn’t show the patience we have shown.
“We took a lot of early bad shots and we didn’t crash the boards like we usually do,” he said. “Defensively, we played a darn good first half. We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket.”
The second half saw the Cats rebound offensively, despite struggling to get the ball inside the three-point arc.
Harley Day was able to get the ball moving as he went baseline-to-baseline for a layup to give the Cats some momentum.
Soviak found some room inside for his eighth point of the game to pull the Cats to within seven at 30-23.
The Tigers tightened the vice on defense by pressuring the inbound pass with a full-court press. Galion created several turnovers that led to points, giving the Tigers a comfortable 40-28 lead by the end of the third quarter.
“The way they were defending us, we needed to get the ball reversed,” said Terrill. “I told them 100 times to reverse the ball and I’m not sure we ever did.”
The fourth quarter mirrored the third as the Cats scored 11 points and struggled to keep the Tigers on a leash.
When the final buzzer sounded, North Union had fallen to 4-5 overall on the season and 1-4 in the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference.
“I told them it is one game and up until tonight, we have been improving,” said Terrill. “It is a setback, but the good news is we don’t have to wait a week to play another game.”
North Union will return to the court on Saturday when it hosts conference rival Buckeye Valley.
NU 13 04 11 11 39
Galion 16 08 16 13 53
NU- Day- 8, Soviak- 8, Price- 8, Crabtree- 6, Feasel- 5, Terrill- 4
Galion- Alsip- 13, McElligott- 11, Lackey- 8, Skaggs- 7, Anderson- 4, Powell- 4, Williams- 4, Eckert- 2
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