Gene Phelps | Special to the Gazette
ENTERPRISE – West Union’s girls overcame an 11-point halftime deficit Friday to defeat county rival Myrtle and win the Division 3-1A regular-season title.
The Lady Eagles (18-9 overall, 9-1 division) outscored the visiting Lady Hawks 23-10 in the third quarter on their way to a 61-49 victory.
“It was a big third quarter,” second-year West Union coach J.C. Hayles said. “We cleaned up some things defensively and it led to some open shots for us, and we knocked them down.”
Hayles added, “I’m extremely proud of the girls, their hard work and effort. This was a team, two years ago, that started the year off 0-and-14. A lot of these players were on that team.”
Junior guard Annie Orman, who was held to nine points in the first half, scored 12 of her game-high 32 points in the Lady Eagles’ deciding third quarter.
Orman says Myrtle’s 1-3-1 zone defense always gives them trouble.
“We had to get our minds right at halftime,” she said.
Hayles also credited Myrtle’s defense for the visitor’s 33-22 halftime advantage.
“Their defense was giving us trouble, but we were getting rebounds and not getting it up the floor quick enough,” he said. “We were letting their defense get set. They did a good job of not giving us the easy shots.
“When we got some open looks, we didn’t hit them.”
Ella Kate Taylor opened the Lady Eagles’ fourth quarter with a 3-pointer. Her basket started a 14-2 run to seal the win.
Eden Conlee connected on four 3-pointers and finished with 13 points for West Union.
“When Annie and Eden both play well on the same night, we’re tough to beat,” Hayles said.
Kinsley Gordon scored 24 points and Raykiah Strickland scored 12 for Myrtle (13-12, 6-4).
(B) West Union 61, Myrtle 42
Senior guard Sam Callicutt scored 21 points, 15 in the second half, to lead the Eagles.
“Once we started getting inside, it opened up the outside,” Callicutt said. “I hit a couple and Boo (Robertson) hit a couple of shots. They started falling for us in the second half.”
West Union (15-11, 8-2) finished the regular season second in the division.
Luke Willard added 19 points and Robertson scored 12, 10 in the second half, for the Eagles.
Myrtle (11-14, 5-5) was led by guard A.I. Nugent with 17 points.