BIG STONE GAP — With Gate City in sole possession of first place in the Mountain District boys basketball race, the battle looks to be for second place.
Union (10-7, 3-3) made the first move Saturday with its 63-41 win over Wise Central (9-8, 3-2).
The physical matchup stayed close for the first period, and Union came out with a 10-8 lead. From there the Bears simply took control with their defense, building an 10-point halftime advantage, 33-23.
Caleb Mills’ jumper with just over five minutes to go in the third period pulled the Warriors to within six at 35-29, but they got no closer.
The final blow came in the fourth when Central managed just six points — four of them in the last two minutes of the contest.
Union’s Dez Burney led all scorers with 15 points and Logan Schoolcraft followed with 13. Schoolcraft picked up his fourth foul late in the first period but remained a force inside.
Kaine Laney’s 13 points were tops for Central, and Mills tossed in 12.
The Lady Warriors (14-3, 4-1), who already have a strong hold on second place in the district, kicked off their contest with a 15-0 run and cruised to a 71-32 victory.
Central opened with a strong pressure defense that gave the Lady Bears (8-9, 0-6) trouble and played a big part in the large early lead.
Twelve of 13 players scored for the Lady Warriors. Logan Reynolds had a game-high 21 points to go with six assists and seven rebounds.
Hannah Dysart led Union with 12 points.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our electronic edition.