Union County held off the Newberry Panthers Friday night, but couldn't manage to secure a win over Baldwin in the 7-1A Boys' Basketball district final Saturday night. The Tigers, who were seeded first in the tournament, beat Baldwin twice in the regular season, but fell short to the second-seeded Indians with a 66-62 final.
The game stayed close for four quarters, with Baldwin leading by a basket at the half (29-27), and a mere one point at the end of the third (40-39). One of Union County's biggest shortcomings was their lack of free throw points, ending up only 13 of 25 from the line for the night. Union County Head Coach Rufus Jefferson says this game was harder because of his team's history with the Indians.
Heseny Arreguin led Baldwin with 22 points, and in the fourth quarter alone, made 11 of 12 free throws and scored 14 points. Johan Vann helped out with 14 points on the night, nine from three-pointers, for the Indians.
Senior and team captain Shaimea Maeweather led Union County with 26 points, 10 in the final quarter, while Carl Alexander added 21 points, including three three-pointers. Keldric Bradley put up only 7 points during the game, a surprise given his impressive 29-point performance against Newberry on Friday night.
Union County will now move on to the 1A regional semifinals on the road, but they have 10 days to prepare for their game in The Villages on Feb. 19. Baldwin will host Wildwood in another regional semifinal, but if the Tigers and the Indians both win their first playoff games, the two could meet again for a fourth time this season in the 1A state semifinals.