It worked to perfection.
The Lady Bears (14-9) blitzed the Lady Blue Devils 50-21 in the opening round of the Mountain 7 District tournament Monday at Gate City Middle School.
“They hurt us with their perimeter shooting in the previous games,” said Union coach Kory Bostic. “We spread out our zone to get out on their shooters, and we wanted to attack the basket and get to the free-throw line.”
Union’s defense held Gate City (9-14) to just five field goals, with three of them 3-pointers.
On the offensive end, the Lady Bears went to the foul line 28 times and converted 20 of the shots.
“It was a great defensive effort tonight,” Bostic said. “We worked hard in practice the last couple of days trying to put together a plan, and they did a nice job with it.
“Our patience on offense paid off with all those free throws.”
Union jumped out to a 9-0 lead only to see Gate City hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull within 9-6.
That was as close as the Lady Blue Devils got the rest of the game.
The Lady Bears went on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 16-6. By halftime, Union held a commanding 26-11 advantage.
Next up for Union is a meeting with top seed and defending state champion Wise Central in the Mountain 7 semifinals at Wise Central. The Lady Bears handed the Lady Warriors their only loss this season.
“We lost by four to them and we beat them by five,” Bostic said. “We know each other so well. This will be another tough night against a tough Mountain 7 opponent.”
Ashley Chester had 17 points and Jayda Smith 10 to lead Union.
“Our attitude tonight was that it is tournament time and time for us to go,” Chester said. “We’ll take everything from tonight’s game into the semifinals against Wise.”
Kayla Bird, LeighAnn Stapleton, Kiersan Light, Kendal Quillen and Josie Howington had three points each for the Lady Blue Devils in their season finale.