The Unity Christian girls had as close to a perfect night as they could have Thursday on their home court.
They earned a dominant region win, they got contributions from everyone on the roster and they honored their two seniors for the work they have put into the program this season and over the last four years.
The Lady Lions built a huge early lead against Shiloh Hills Christian and never looked back as they rolled to a 67-9 victory in region play.
Unity Christian (6-8, 3-0 in region) jumped out to a 20-1 advantage at the end of the first quarter and pushed their lead to 39-3 at the half. The third quarter was their most dominant period of the game as they held the visiting Lady Challengers scoreless while adding 21 more points to their total on the scoreboard before the fourth was shortened to six minutes due to the mercy rule.
“I was proud of the way the girls played,” said Unity Christian head coach Mel Thornbury. “We’ve had a lot of tough games up to this point of the season, and I think it is really paying off in our league. The girls are executing things well, and it’s fun to coach them. They are really starting to jell. Tonight was really good for our whole team. Everyone got into the game, and almost everyone got to score.”
Leading scoring efforts for Unity Christian was Bekah Wisener with 11 points. Tiffany Creel and Julia Yadkowski, the team’s two seniors who were honored following Thursday’s win, were also in double figures with 10 points apiece. Thornbury said both of her seniors have been important to the team in different ways.
“Julia is our rock on defense,” said Thornbury. “We count on her to set the tone on that end of the court, and tonight she did a good job defensively and scoring. It’s been fun to watch her grow into the player she is now.
“Tiffany was brand new to the game of basketball when she started playing with us as a freshman. I’ve really been able to teach her from the ground up. We just want her to be who she is for our team. She is an encourager, a leader and she holds people accountable. It was good to see her tie her career-high in scoring tonight.”
Also contributing solid totals offensively for the Lady Lions on Thursday was Kyla Marcos with eight points and Caroline Jenkins with six points.
The Lady Lions were back at home Friday for another region contest against Oakwood Christian starting at 5:30 p.m. They will visit Praise Academy Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“We want to use tonight as a catalyst for the rest of the season,” said Thornbury. “Our goal is to go undefeated in the regular season in our region so we can get the No. 1 seed for the region tournament.”
In the Unity Christian-Shiloh Hills Christian boys game later Thursday:
Shiloh Hills Christian 63, Unity Christian 41
It was a tough night for the host Lions as turnovers and defensive miscues led the way to a lopsided home loss in region play.
Unity Christian (3-12, 1-2 in region) fell behind 14-8 after one quarter and 26-13 at the half before Shiloh Hills Christian sealed the game by outscoring the Lions 25-12 in the third.
Austin Wilkerson was one of the few bright spots offensively for the Lions with 20 points. Jay Davis and Bailey Mohler each added five.
Gilberto Llorena scored a game-high 21 points, including three 3s, for Shiloh Hills Christian. Kayden Jeter was also in double figures with 12 points.
Unity Christian will try to turn things around as they were back at home Friday to host Oakwood Christian at 7 p.m. and are on the road Tuesday at Praise Academy at 8 p.m.