The Lady Bears used solid defense and took advantage of Gate City’s poor shooting to capture a 49-34 win in the Region 2D championship at the Virginia-Wise Prior Convocation Center. The regional title is the first for the program.
Union and Gate City both play in next week’s VHSL Class 2 tournament.
Union hosts the loser of Tuesday’s Region C championship game between Martinsville and Floyd County on Friday or Saturday at the Prior Center. Gate City travels to play the Region C champion.
As a team, Union shot only 31.7% (13 of 41) from the floor, but Gate City (17-11) connected on only 11 of 50 shots (22%).
“When you play the teams in this conference, the Mountain 7 conference, you know everybody is going to play defense,” Lady Bears coach Kory Bostic said. “Sometimes, maybe it may not be the prettiest game for fans to watch. But from a coaching standpoint, it’s really enjoyable to watch two teams really get after it the way both teams did tonight.
“I can’t say enough for our defensive effort tonight. We played tremendous.”
Bostic said the march to the regional championship was special for Union, not only because it was the program’s first but also because it included four senior starters: Heather Lipps, Jaylan Webb, Emili Brooks and Jayda Smith.
“At the beginning of the year, people were doubting us. We never lost sight of what we wanted to do,” said Smith, who finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Brooks led Union’s scorers with 16 points, also pulling down eight rebounds. Lipps finished with 10 points and eight boards.
Gate City had a rough night shooting.
“Defensively we lost our edge and we lost our energy midway through the first quarter and I’m not 100% sure how or why but we did, and that hurt us,” said Gate City coach Kelly Houseright. “And then, you know, in the second quarter we only scored four points and we missed free throws early and in games like this you can’t do that.
“We lost our edge early and really never got it back.”
Union led 15-11 at halftime in the low-scoring contest.
The Lady Bears outscored the Lady Blue Devils 14-9 in the third quarter and 20-14 in the fourth to pull away.
Riley Houseright scored 13 points to lead Gate City.