BIG STONE GAP — The Lonesome Pine District boys basketball race was a logjam headed into Tuesday night’s regular-season finales.
In the end, it wasn’t even close.
Led by seniors Colby Addington and Tyler Vernon, previously slumping Union soundly beat J.I. Burton 59-24.
“I don’t know if they felt responsible for our not playing well the last little bit. But they both really responded tonight and stepped up in a big way,” said Bears coach Zach Moore.
Thanks to Clintwood’s 76-58 win over Wise Central, the Bears (14-6, 4-2) claimed sole possession of the final LPD regular-season basketball championship.
“Union played well and we didn’t. We got outcoached and outplayed in every facet,” said Raiders coach Aaron Williams, whose team had the opportunity to throw the district into a four-way tie.
Addington led the Bears with 18 points. He put Union ahead for good with three consecutive unanswered buckets at the end of the first period. When he drained a 3-pointer with 5:31 remaining in the first half, Union was up 20-6 and in firm command.
Vernon scored 17 points, also grabbing six rebounds.
In the girls’ game, Sydney McKinney fired up 18 points to lead the Lady Bears in a 71-32 win over Burton.
Kristen Bishop added 13 points for Union (14-7, 3-3). Summer Begley scored 10, and Mekayla Barnette and Brandee Childress had eight apiece.
For complete coverage of the games see the Feb. 6 edition of the Times-News.