Elijah Hayes scored 14 points, Jordan Bishop added 13 and the Warriors picked up a 54-48 victory over Union in boys basketball action Friday.
The game was tight throughout and featured 10 lead changes, including seven in the second quarter when the teams swapped basket for basket over the final 4:41 of the period.
Union (4-8, 2-2) held a one-point halftime lead but Central (10-5, 3-2) battled back to build a three-point advantage, 41-38, after three quarters.
But the Warriors’ lead was short-lived.
Union’s Alex Rasnick hit a 3-point shot a little less than two minutes into the fourth quarter to tie the game at 41.
Nearly a minute later, Central’s Tyler Vanover hit a 3-pointer to give his team a 44-41 lead with 5:17 remaining in the game, and Central never trailed again.
SIGH OF RELIEF
With Vanover’s shot came a sense of confidence — or maybe a sigh of relief — on the Warriors’ side.
“These games have so much pressure in them,” said Central coach T.J. McAmis. “And there’s always a moment when one team or the other feels the pressure relieved and that’s what you saw there in the fourth quarter. We just kept pushing and all of the sudden that was it. I’m just proud of our kids.”
Union kept the game close the rest of the way and managed to pull within two, 46-44, with 2:56 to play when Connor Giza hit 1 of 2 free throw attempts.
But Central responded with baskets from Jordan Bishop and Hayes to push the lead back to six with 1:32 showing on the game clock. Then Bishop connected on four free-throw attempts in the final minute to seal the win
Noah Garrison led Union’s scorers with 16 points.
Solid defense and a solid game from Dee Cvetnich led the Lady Warriors to a 52-37 Mountain 7 win over their Wise County rivals.
Cvetnich finished with 19 points, 19 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead Central to the win.
“I was glad to have her step up and have a good game. She’s struggled the last couple of games for us,” said Central coach Robin Dotson. “We’ve got to get her more involved in our offense and we were able to do that tonight.”
Cvetnich’s defensive play led to success both defensively and offensively.
“We always work on defense in practice. That’s one of our biggest things to concentrate on defense,” she said.
Brook Porter added 17 points for Central (11-3, 5-0). Jayda Smith led all scorers with 21 points for Union (8-3, 1-3).