Red Raiders roll past Falcons
UNIONTOWN - Late in Tuesday night's Section 2-AAAA battle between Connellsville and host Uniontown, the crowd was on pins and needles as the game featured plenty of suspense.
Unfortunately for the Falcons (3-6, 6-15), that suspense had nothing to do with the score of the game. By the time the fourth quarter had rolled around, the Red Raiders (9-0, 20-1) had already proven why they are the top-ranked team in the state as they had built up a huge lead on their way to a 97-58 victory.
But down the stretch, the Red Raiders' Chris Jacobs needed just four points late in the fourth quarter to reach 1,000 for his career.
After being taken out of the game, Uniontown coach Dave Shuck, at the urging of the Uniontown faithful, decided to put Jacobs back in during the closing minutes. Jacobs responded by hitting two shots on two drives and finishing with 25 points on the night and 1,000 in his career.
"I talked to Shuck and he said not to worry about it, it will come to you," Jacobs said. "I'm in with a special group of guys. Not many score 1,000 and I'm just happy."
"I'm glad to see Chris get 1,000. Now maybe he can play some basketball," Shuck said jokingly.
But in the first quarter, Shuck and his team weren't in a laughing mood.
After building an 11-5 lead. The Red Raiders watched as the Falcons rattled off 11 straight points to take a 16-11 edge. Brian Burden collected four of his nine points and James Hairston finished off the run with a slam dunk as part of his game-high 27-point effort.
And after one quarter, the Falcons managed a 20-17 lead.
"We we're playing a trap and we weren't moving very well," Shuck said. "I think we thought Connellsville was going to roll over, but they made some big shots."
"We worked hard preparing for their trap," Connellsville coach Nick Bosnic said. "The kids played hard. They played a lot better than what the score indicated."
The Falcons did play hard, but they couldn't compete when the Red Raiders switched to man-to-man defense in the second.
The result was 35-12 run that gave Uniontown a 52-32 lead at the half. Terrance Vaughns led the Uniontown charge with 10 of his 25 points while Dierre Jenkins knocked down seven of his 16. Carl Farrell and Jacobs each added six. Farrell finished with 13 points.
"They got a lot of turnovers at mid-court and turned them into easy baskets," Bosnic said.
"We went man-to-man, and they had trouble with that," Shuck said.
With the game well in hand, the Red Raiders continued to shoot the lights out in the third quarter as they knocked down an additional 27 points. Jenkins led Uniontown with nine points while Robbie Rose had a good quarter for the Falcons, draining six of his eight points.
And with the game in the bag, Jacobs managed to add the exclamation point by scoring 10 in the final quarter to hit the milestone.
After the game, Jacobs acknowledged that hitting 1,000 is a nice achievement, but it's not his main goal.
"We just want the top seed in the playoffs," Jacobs said.
As for the Falcons, they'll continue to try and improve with three games left on the slate. The next one is Friday at home against Ringgold.
CAHS 51, U'town 42
Shane Kovack scored 15 points to lead the Falcons to a junior varsity win. Paul Gmutza tallied 19 for the Red Raiders.