Eisenhower Fends Off Union City for Region 2 Triumph

Eisenhower's Kael Hunt. Photo by Steve Younger.

RUSSELL, Pa. – Eisenhower went on a 17-4 second-half run to break open a tight battle with Union City in what was ultimately a 66-57 Region 2 victory for the host Knights.

With the score tied at 37-all, a Curt Darling three spearheaded the surge that began with 2:11 to go in the third quarter. Darling, who finished with a game-high 25 points, hit two threes in the run, and Wyatt Loookenhouse, who finished with 23 points, had seven points in the decisive spurt.

Darling talked about the win afterward:

Eisenhower actually jumped out to a 15-0 lead to start the game, but Union City, playing with a short bench, rallied, cutting the margin to six, 18-12 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bears never led in the game, but twice tied it, including right before the half at 26-26 before a Kyler black free-throw gave Eisenhower a one-point lead at the break.

“I think our press sped them up a little bit,” said Eisenhower coach Ryan Mangini. “Kyler (Black) and Curt shot the ball really well, obviously. We had our turnovers, but we were able to overcome it and fend them off at the end.”

Bryce Drayer led the Bears with 17 points, while Cole DeSimone netted 12, Wyatt Post nine, and Matt Bennett eight.

The Bears (3-6 overall, 1-1 Region 2) cut the margin to six, 63-57, with 40 seconds to go, but Black, who finished with nine points, knocked down a pair of free throws to help ice it.

Kael Hunt added five points for Ike (4-6 overall, 2-1 Region 2), while Kris Bunk and Thakari Warren added two each.

“I thought we did a pretty good job of holding the ball for the most part,” Mangini said. “We had a few times where I told them layup only with two and a half minutes left, we shot a three, but what are you going to do. I was very pleased with the effort.”

Eisenhower, Youngsville and Warren basketball coverage is sponsored by Ellwood National Forge.