Paint Valley led almost the entire game before Unioto took their first lead in the closing 90 seconds and held-on for a 66-63 win at home over the Bearcats. It was the Shermans 60th consecutive SVC win.
The Cats darted out of the gate for leads of 6-0, 7-2 and 11-5, then held a 15-12 lead after one quarter. After the Shermans cut it to 15-14, Paint Valley took off for a 39-26 spread in the closing seconds of the half, before Logan Swackhammer hit one of two free-throws to cut that to the 12 point margin at half, 39-27.
Paint Valley was up 50-39 late in the third quarter, but the Shermans' 5-0 run cut it to 50-44 at the end of three quarters.
The Tanks pulled even for the first time in the game at 54-54 with 4:30 remaining in the contest, only to see the Bearcats go on their own 5-0 run for a 59-54 lead.
Unioto's Peyton Hill sat most of the second half with four fouls, but came back into the game and connected on a big three-pointer from the left corner to tie the game at 59-59 at 1:37 remaining. A Unioto steal and a lay-up by Logan Swackhammer, followed by a free-throw gave the Shermans their first lead of the game at 62-59 at 1:31 left.
The Bearcats cut that to 62-61 and got the ball back with less than one minute to play, only to see another steal and bucket by Unioto for a 64-61 advantage. Paint Valley cut to 64-63, but Unioto's Brandon Kennedy hit three free-throws to give the Tanks a 66-63 lead.
Paint Valley attempted a long three-point attempt at the horn, but the ball banked off the backboard and glanced off the rim as the game ended in favor of Unioto.
The Bearcats had one of their best shooting games of the season, connecting on better than 57% in every quarter except the third, en-route to 53% for the game. They scorched the nets for 88% in the first quarter, 57% in the second, 27% in the third and 63% in the fourth. Their 53% for the game came on 24/45 from the field- including 2/8 from the arc. Paint Valley was also 13/17 at the foul line for 76%.
The Shermans shot 26/57 from the field for 46%- including 7/14 from the arc and 7/9 at the foul line.
Paint Valley owned the rebounding edge 29-20, with 6'11 senior Dylan Swingle grabbing 20 of those.
As well as Paint Valley played, their 19 turnovers were a big factor in the game slipping out of their grasp. They had 10 in the first half and 9 in the second. Unioto committed 11 turnovers, with 7 in the second half.
Dylan Swingle led all players with 31 points and 20 rebounds. Bryce Newland added 11 and Cruz McFadden had 9.
Unioto's multiple offensive threats were critical in the win with five players in double figures. Brandon Kennedy led with 14 points, Chance Smith scored 13, followed by Gabe Fisher's 12 points and 10 rebounds. Logan Swackhammer and Peyton Hill each added 11 points..
(5-0/7-1) Unioto stays one game ahead of (4-1) Piketon and Zane Trace. The Redstreaks travel to Zane Trace Saturday night in our broadcast game on 94 Country WKKJ and iHeart Radio.
Brandon Kennedy 14, Chance Smith 13, Gabe Fisher 12, Logan Swackhammer 11, Peyton Hill 11, Nick Adkins 2, Carson Debord 2
PAINT VALLEY- 63
Dylan Swingle 31, Bryce Newland 11, Cruz McFadden 9, Hunter Hamlin 4, Caden Grubb 4, P.J. McAllister 4
To hear the replay of WKKJ's Friday broadcast with Mike Smith and Tom Beard, go to our podcast link found below....