Bears make just enough free throws to fend off Falcons

Kevin Mays • Jan 5, 2019 at 3:00 AM

BIG STONE GAP — Union made just enough free throws Friday to escape with a win.

The Bears connected on 4 of 8 shots from the line in the final minute to hang on for a 49-47 Mountain 7 District boys basketball win over Abingdon.


Union (3-8, 1-1) was up 45-42 heading into the final minute of the game when Abingdon had to start fouling.

Abingdon (5-6, 1-2) had its chances to extend the final outcome because of 50 percent free-throw shooting from the Bears.

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“That’s what I told our guys,” said Union coach Zack Moore. “And we got the ball to the people we want shooting free throws. Those guys have just got to step up and make free throws.”


Abingdon had three chances to cut into the Union lead in the last 55 seconds of the game, but the Falcons kept missing shots until Zeren Belcher cut the lead to 49-44 with 17 ticks left.

The Falcons then gained possession on a jump ball with 13 seconds remaining but could not capitalize.

After two missed free throws from Union, Abingdon’s Trent Cox hit a buzzer-beating 3-point shot for the final margin.

“I think most of the games in our district are going to be like that,” Moore said. “We’re just going to have to grind it out. It’s not going to be pretty. We just have to try to find a way to win.”


Justin Falin had 13 points to lead Union in the low-scoring contest and Alex Rasnick had 10.

Abingdon got a team-high 12 points from Belcher and 10 from Chase Hungate.


The girls of Abingdon (7-5, 2-1) and Union (7-2, 0-2) were tied at 19 halfway through the second quarter.

Then Abingdon scored the next 17 points and cruised to the 69-52 Mountain 7 win.

The Lady Falcons used a 9-0 run over the final four minutes of the second quarter and then started the third quarter by scoring the first eight points.

By the time the run was over, Abingdon had a 36-19 lead a minute into the third period.

“It was a good little run. We definitely had some kids step up,” Lady Falcons coach Jimmy Brown said. “Emily Breeding stepped up and made a few shots for us and that was good to see.”

Breeding finished the game with 16 points, while Peyton Carter led the Lady Falcons with 24 points. Morgan Blevins added 10 for Abingdon.

Union got 24 points from Jayda Smith and 14 from Emili Brooks.


Mountain 7 play continues Tuesday with Union hosting Lee High and Abingdon playing at home against Gate City.

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