Union gaining momentum
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
1/29/13 at 3:26 AM
Coach Jim Stacy hopes this past weekend marked a turning point for his Union High girls basketball team.
By winning the Jenks/Union Invitational, the Redskins went over the .500 mark for the first time all season. They are 9-8.
"I hope it means we're figuring things out," Stacy said. "It's a great time of year to do it, come playoff time."
The No. 11 Redskins nipped archrival and No. 9 Jenks 62-61 on the Trojans' home floor in Saturday's final as junior Esther Udoumoh scored a career-high 19 points.
"I think it shows what we can do when we play together," senior forward and team leader I'mani Davis said. "Nobody expected us to be in the championship game, and nobody expected us to win it."
Davis made the winning foul shots with five seconds left, capping a huge individual week. She had 12 points and nine rebounds in the final and joined senior teammate Brittany Hill on the all-tournament team.
She also is the latest Tulsa World player of the week.
Stacy guided Union to the 2008 Class 6A title and has five other state tournament appearances in his 13 seasons at the helm. He expected a better record to this point, but offensive inconsistency has plagued the team.
Built to run, the Redskins create turnovers in bunches but often give the ball back as quickly as they take it.
"We like to use our speed, but sometimes it bites us in the back," said Davis, who has signed with Tennessee State, an Ohio Valley Conference school in Nashville, Tenn. "We need to slow down and run our offense more."
The long-armed Davis runs the floor like a leopard and often seems to get her hands on every pass by the opposition. She averages a double-double (16.2 points, 11.6 rebounds) and has 34 steals, 23 blocked shots and 20 deflections, leading the Redskins in almost every category.
"She does so much for us," Stacy said. "We've kind of hitched our wagon to her."
Union's schedule hasn't helped its won-loss record. Along with the night-in, night-out rigors of the Frontier Conference, the Redskins have lost to 6A No. 1 Edmond Santa Fe, 3A No. 1 Sulphur and Class B No. 2 Lomega.
All eight losses have been against ranked teams.
The Redskins won't have long to enjoy last weekend's success. They return to Jenks on Tuesday night, trying to beat the Trojans for the third time. Then, it's on to play at No. 2 Bixby on Friday.
"It's getting late, but I think we have time to turn it around," Davis said.
Mike Brown 918-581-8390