Unionville hosted three teams in tip off classic and defeated Kennett before falling to Tigers
By Dave Conard, Sports Editor Unionville Times.com
EAST MARLBOROUGH — This is the time of year that coaches look forward to, and head coach Anthony DiNicola is no exception to the rule.
Sure it’s the holiday season and local malls are packed with shoppers in search of that perfect gift, that coupled with the bumper to bumper traffic on Route I as people file in to view the lights and decorations of Longwood Gardens are sure signs that the calendar has turned to December, a time of celebration, food, family gatherings and of course high school basketball.
Unionville hosted its annual tip off classic this weekend with Marple Newtown, Garnet Valley and Ches-Mont foe Kennett making the trek to the home of the Indians.
As coach DiNicola’s squad took the court Saturday night they carried the momentum of a 41-39 win over Garnet valley on Friday night, led by junior Brandon Rusinque, who had a game high 13 points.
The Indians (1-1) were their own worst enemy in the opening period against the Tigers as they committed five turnovers in the first quarter allowing Marple-Newtown to grab a 12-4 lead, the only ray of sunshine being the fact that Unionville committed only two fouls.
“We were pretty careless with the ball early,” said DiNicola. “Playing teams at this level we have to play our best for four quarters, I thought our guys did a great job with ball security and making better decisions in the second quarter.”
Unionville got a jump start as senior Parker Williams stepped up and knocked down a pair of three point bombs to cut the lead to 12-10, before hitting a third to give the hosts their first lead of the game at 21-18.
“I like being in that position,” said Williams. “I am not the strongest person when it come to putting the ball on the floor, but I love posting up and hitting three pointers, it’s how I can help the team.”
Williams assault from beyond the arc fueled an 8-0 run to start the second and helped boost the Indians to a 26-22 lead following Doug Ott posting up with an eight footer as the buzzer sounded.
Though no one was seen wandering onto the court during the intermission, some one must have put a lid on the Unionville basket as the home team fell victim of a cruel joke by the basketball gods as they were held scoreless the entire third quarter and nine minutes overall allowing the Tigers to take a 44-26 lead heading into the final stanza.
“We had a rough period there,” added DiNicola. “We made some mistakes and I think we rushed our looks and forced the issue a bit. Give them credit as well as they hit everything during that run, but we did not hang our heads and our guys showed real character battling back.”
To there credit Unionville battled back getting the lead back under ten points with three minutes to play and following a steal by Ott at mid court, the Indians had a chance to make it a two possession game.
Williams, who converted four tres in the tilt, was doubled covered as junior Kyle Fries (1-4 from beyond the arc) launched a shot that could have cut the lead to six but as it clanked the iron, the ensuing foul underneath, quashed the rally and any hopes of a come from behind win as M-N senior Ryan Furst knocked down both free throws then followed that up with a perfectly executed ally oop slam.
“This was good experience for us against a really good team that has a lot of seniors,” added Williams. “They are big and all five guys played a lot last season. I think we did a good job settling the ball down and we had a chance at the end just didn’t come away with a win. I am looking forward to a good season and I think we have a good bunch of guys that will push each other all season.”
Marple Newtown (2-0) 12 10 22 9 -53
Unionville (1-1) 4 22 0 14 -40
Marple Newtown (53)
McDevitt 3, 0-0, 3; Brandt 8, 0-0, 8; McGee 19, 2-4, 21; Furst 11, 4-4, 15; Kelly 0, 2-4, 2; Soccinello 2, 2-4, 4. Totals 43, 10-16, 53. Three point FG-5.
Ott 4, 0-0, 4; Rusinque 10, 0-0, 10; Fries 5, 0-0, 5; Sampson 2, 0-2, 2; Tuvessen 2, 2-2, 4; Pechin 3, 0-0, 3; Williams 12, 0-0, 12. Totals 39, 2-4, 41. Three point FG –8.
Friday night results
Garnet Valley 12 10 12 8 -39
Unionville 9 13 10 9 -41
Garnet Valley (39)
Kelly 10, 2-5, 12; Raucchi 8, 2-2, 10; Paden 3, 0-0, 3; Vandenberg 7, 0-0, 7; Jones 7, 0-1, 7. Totals 35, 4-8, 39. Three point FG- 3.
Geiser 2, 0-1, 2; Ott 0-0, 0; Rusinque 11, 2-4, 13; Fries 6, 0-1, 6; Sampson 6, 4-11, 10; Johnson 6, 0-0, 6; Tuvessen 2, 0-0, 2. Totals 36, 5-17, 41. Three point FG- 5