Gene Phelps | Special to the Gazette
ELLISTOWN – Sylvie McVey’s perimeter shots weren’t falling in the first half of Friday’s Division 1-2A basketball opener against Mantachie.
East Union’s senior guard found her shooting touch in the second half and led the Lady Urchins to a 59-41 victory.
McVey scored 15 of her game-high 20 points in the second half. Six of those points came on a pair of 3-pointers. She opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and a layup to help East Union build an 18-point lead.
East Union head coach Chase Brown told McVey at halftime she wasn’t tucking her elbow when she shot.
“That fixed it and I started making them,” McVey said. “It felt really good to win. We’ve put in the work every single day and it paid off today.”
Brown added, “Sylvie lit it up in the second half. She played really well. She’s tough. When she gets going, we can score some points.”
East Union (10-4, 1-0 division) stopped a four-game losing streak with the win.
“It’s good to win one after a losing streak,” Brown said. “They were a little discouraged. We needed this win to get back on track.”
Brown credited the team’s defensive play with earning the win.
“We basically worked on defense for three days. I’m hoarse because I yelled so much at practice,” he said. “They got after it tonight. We’ve got to play hard on defense the rest of the year. I’m proud of the way we played defense.”
Peyton Wildman added 16 points for East Union. Madison Jones scored 14 and Darby Pitts 10 for Mantachie (9-6, 0-1).
(B) East Union 64, Mantachie 37
Noah Johnson scored 16, DeJuan Hubbard 13 and Josh Henderson nine to lead the Urchins (5-11, 1-0).
“The second season started tonight,” East Union coach Tim McDonald said. "The boys answered the call. They played well. We were prepared and executed in the first half. When you’re prepared and execute, good things happen.”
Mantachie (4-9, 0-1) was led in scoring by Dylan Bennett with 12.