It may have been two decidedly different games, but the outcomes were the same for Unity Christian’s varsity basketball teams on their home court Thursday evening.
Both the Unity boys’ and girls’ came away with a win over Praise Academy. And so far, they haven’t had it any other way.
The Lady Lions erupted for 29 points in the first quarter of their contest, leading to a 59-17 victory, while the Lions pulled out a comeback to win 53-50. Both Unity teams remain undefeated on the young season.
“Our starters came out strong to get us a good lead. Alli Hardwell just dominated on the boards,” First-year Unity girls’ head coach Melanie Thornberry said.
“We really wanted to put a lot of pressure on them so we came out in a full-court press, man-on-man, and were able to execute.”
Hardwell scored all 14 of her points in the opening eight minutes but contributed the entire game, finishing with seven rebounds.
Unity’s girls (3-0) were paced by senior Keri Glass, who went 4-for-4 at the line and scored 17 points, including a 3-pointer.
Maggie Dyer added seven for the host Lady Lions.
In the boys’ game, Unity came out and led 16-6 after the first period and 30-23 at halftime before Praise managed to get some momentum in the third quarter and take the lead.
But the Lions (4-0) stayed focused and, while behind by five during the fourth, kept chipping away until a 3 by Graham Wisener gave Unity a one-point lead with under two minutes to go.
Fouls by their opponents sent Unity to the line down the stretch, but the Lions stood tall, going 9-of-10 at the line for the game.
“We had unbelievable senior leadership tonight,” Unity boys’ coach Matt Claytor said. “It was one of the best games we’ve had where the guys just did everything that was asked of them.”
Wisener led the Lions with 19 points, while Josiah Petro and Braydon Dean each had 12, and Mark Whitehead added seven.
Both Unity teams will be back in action Monday as they host Holy Ground Baptist. The girls begin at 6 p.m. with the boys’ game to follow.