The Piketon Redstreaks showed the SVC basketball world what they are capable of Friday, but so too did the Unioto Shermans in a 49-46 victory at Piketon.
Piketon's zone defense gave Unioto problems for much of the first two-and-a-half quarters, before Unioto made their move in the third period as they rallied from a 12 point deficit.
Trailing 30-18 midway through the third quarter, Unioto used increased ball pressure defense including a tremendous effort off the bench from DeSean Branson to lead the comeback effort. Branson was responsible for five steals with many leading to layups, while he also led all scorers with 19 points. All but 2 of those points came in the second half.
The Streaks led 10-9 after the first quarter and 21-15 at halftime. That lead increased to 30-18, before the Shermans went on a 7-0 run. Piketon bumped their lead back up to 35-27 before the Shermans 9-0 run put them in the lead at 36-35 early in the fourth quarter.
Piketon's last lead was 37-36, although they were tied again at 39-39 with 5:21 left in the game. Unioto would never trail again, although the Redstreaks got to within 42-41 and 44-43 before the purple and gold put the game away at the foul line.
Other than Branson's 19 points, Isaac Little scored 15 points with four other Shermans making up the balance. Cameron Debord's defensive effort also was key in denying SVC scoring leader Chris Chandler from getting many touches of the ball late in the game.
Despite that, Chandler still scored 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Levi Gullion added 11 points and 8 rebounds, with four other players rounding out Piketon's scoring.
Unioto shot 17/42 from the field for 40%- including 6/19 from the arc and went 10/15 at the foul line. They committed 13 turnovers.
Piketon shot 15/45 for only 33%- going 6/16 from the arc and were also 10/15 at the foul line. Piketon edged Unioto in rebounds 29-28. The Streaks committed 11 turnovers.
Unioto improves to (10-0/12-2) and stands one game ahead of Adena, who beat Westfall 45-28. Piketon slips to (5-4/11-5) and show they could be a major threat in the post-season.
You can hear the replay of the game on WKKJ with Mike Smith and Tom Beard in our podcast link below...