The Hobbton Wildcats hosted the Union Spartans Friday night in prep basketball action. The Wildcats and the Spartans split in varsity play with the Wildcat ladies defeating Union 58-51 in a come-from-behind win. The Spartan men took the Wildcats in a wild game that came down to the wire. The final was 39-35, Union.
Union led the first three quarters. However in the final period with Nina Devone and Shay Blue leading the way, the Wildcats came alive and started chipping away at the Spartan lead. With about 2 minutes left, the game was tied at 51.
Devone and Blue starting collecting points at the charity stripe to pull ahead. With 1 minute left, the Wildcats held a 4 point lead. Two free throws each from Devone and Blue increased the lead to 7, 58-51 in the final 30 seconds.
Wildcat coach Tom Mewborn said, “It was a hard fought game. They played some good defense at times. I was real pleased with the outcome but we have a lot of work to do. We don’t care where the points come from. We just want play good defense and we will take the points from wherever we can get them.”
Union coach Bryant Register said, “I want to congratulate Coach Jones and Coach Mewborn and the Wildcat ladies on a great win tonight. I am proud of our girls. I thought the effort was there. It just ended up in a dog fight in the fourth quarter. Have to give credit to Nina Devone. She really put them on their back. The story for us is we have to make free throws and lay-ups. That really hurt us. We will go back to work Monday and get ready for a great Lakewood team Tuesday.”
For the Wildcats, Devone had 25 points and Blue added 16. Eva Long scored 24 for the Spartans and Lauren Preddy added 12.
The boys game turned into a barn burner. The Wildcats jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the first quarter. However, the Spartans got their game working the second quarter and held a 16-14 lead at the half. The third quarter score was 26-22, Union.
The real action came in the final period, specifically in the last minute. With 30 seconds left, Union had a 22-32 lead. The Wildcats jumped up by 1, 34-33. However, in the end it came down to foul shots. Union made them and Hobbton didn’t.
Union coach Tim Pope said, “I have to give our players credit for keeping us in the game. We didn’t play well; but, we played hard. Coach Hooper had his team ready to play. They played hard as well. I will say that in over 500 games coaching, that’s the first time I have won on a correctable error.
“It was a situation where we had a foul and the scorekeeper didn’t let the official know it was a 1-and-1 and we didn’t shoot a free throw. We make the free throws and that put us up by 1. We just held on at the end.”
Wildcat coach Alfonso Hooper said, “It was a hard fought game. We kind of stepped out on Union to start with. But we let them back in the ball game. They are a real good team. My hat’s off to them. But I didn’t like the way it ended. I won’t say the call made a difference but I think it did. It went down to the wire. We had our chance but we didn’t get it done.
For the Wildcats, Taja Gray scored 9 points, Collin King scored 8 while Hunter Britt and Jamel Bell scored 7 each.
For Union, Desmond Faison scored 11 points and B. Lovett scored 6.
Union’s JV team got by the Wildcats 40-29.
The Wildcats host Midway Tuesday night and the Spartans travel to Lakewood.