Thursday’s loss may come back to haunt Unionville as the playoff race is in full swing
By Dave Conard, Sports Editor UnionvilleTimes.com
MALVERN—Heading into Thursday night’s Ches-Mont American division show down, Unionville head coach Tony Zambino was hoping to answer some questions about his young squad, who has had its share of ups and downs this season.
With the playoffs looming in the not too distant future, Zambino’s Indians were looking for some clarity in the muddled logjam at the top of the division standings, which included Great Valley and West Chester Rustin.
The good news is that Unionville got some answers, though be it not exactly what they were hoping for.
There is some work to be done if the talented Indians hope to make an impact on the Ches-Mont league or PIAA District One playoff selection committee, as Unionville allowed Great Valley to post a 16-4 fourth quarter advantage en route to a 39-30 loss to the Patriots.
“We had this game,” said Zambino. “We were in complete control, then we just started to make bad decisions with and with out the ball, fortunately for us we have a split with the teams we now have to battle past, but this was a game we needed and had ever opportunity to win.”
It was obvious from the out set that the Great Valley game plan was to control the pace of play with a passing scheme that would have made Tom Brady proud as the Pats focused on eating up the clock while working the ball inside to seniors Kelly Sugalski, who posted six of her eight points in the fateful final period and Karen Davidson, thus limiting the Indians scoring chances.
Unionville (9-6 overall, 6-4 league), despite Great Valley scoring the final four points of the first half, carried a 17-16 edge into the locker room and had shown great poise the entire first half, as the Patriots tried to frustrate the Indians shooters with a very “hands on” approach.
After two minutes un uninspired play to start the third quarter, which allowed the Pats to claim their first lead of the game, Zambino called a time out to regroup the troops.
Following the sideline convo with Zambino, Unionville sophomore Allison Lewis hit an eight-footer and junior Emily Winn posted up scoring inside, fueling a 9-2 run which pushed the blue and gold to a 26-18 lead mid way through the third.
“We just didn’t take care of the ball in the second half and made some really poor decisions,” added Zambino. “We can not afford to do that against good teams, now we are a game behind them in the standings and have some work to do. These games are very important when it come to district seeding.”
Unfortunately for the Indians, following Winn’s basket, they recorded just one field goal in a span of more than eight minutes of playing time until Cami Redfern scored with 30 seconds left to close out the tilt with a 39-30 final.
During the 21-4 spurt that propelled the Patriots to the come from behind win, senior Kelly Sugalski posted three field goals and 4-of 6 from the line, while the Patriots defense and perplexing shot selection of the Indians, who shot an abysmal 2-for 17 from the field in the last ten minutes of play, allowed the contest to slip away.
Coming off of back-to back wins over Octorara and Kennett, Unionville will now get ready for a non league battle Garnet Valley on Saturday before squaring off with Oxford and Rustin next week.
Unionville 9 8 9 4 -30
Great Valley 8 8 7 16 -39