The 2014-15 season came to an abrupt end for both Cougar basketball teams Friday as the Boys’ lost a closely contested game 57-47 and the Girls’ were defeated 56-32–both at the hands of the Bear River Bears in Garland, Utah.
The Union Boys’ and Girls’ basketball teams rallied late in their region schedules to propel them into the first round of the Utah 3A State Tournament, but as number four seeds, they both faced the Bear River Bears, Region 11’s number one seeds respectively.
Coach Sam Hoopes’ Lady Cougars won 2 of their last three region contests winding up in a tie for third place with Uintah and Park City in Region 10 standings. A coin flip between the three schools landed Union in the fourth slot while Uintah defeated Park City in a play-in game to go in as the three seed.
Despite another gutsy effort, Hoopes’ team came up short. Cougar turnovers led to easy points for the Bears and it was too much too overcome. Lexi Anderson led the Cougars with 10 points, Shayla Draper with 7, and Chelsie Birchell threw in 6. The Lady Cougars finished with 2-6 Region record and an overall 6-16 record.
Immediately after the girls game, the boys’ Cougars and Bears teams took the court. Despite a slow offensive start, the Cougars, coached by first year Union head coach, Paul Moss, battled back ferociously trailing only by five at the half. The Cougars continued their attack, tying the score at 32 midway through the third quarter. The lead exchanged hands momentarily then the Bears scored and never relinquished their lead. Kyle Hanke led all scorers with 14 points while seniors, Brady Nielsen contributed 11 and Tye Winterton tossed in 10.
Coach Moss’ team also came on strong at the end of Region 10 play with an overtime victory at home versus Morgan, then a play-in win against the same Trojans to earn the fourth seed.Before that, the Cougars suffered just a four-point loss to Uintah. The Cougars had an overall 7-17 record and a Region 10 record of 1-7.
Here’s how Region 10 teams fared after first round play.
Bear River 57, Union 47
Ben Lomond 57, Park City 46
Uintah 65, Tooele 50
Juan Diego 67, Grantsville 47
Bear River 56, Union 32
Stansbury 46, Uintah 43 (OT)
Morgan 78, Tooele 67
Juan Diego 61, Grantsville 26