EL DORADO — From the free throw line, the Union Mine High boys basketball team found limited success in its non-league game against San Juan at the Snake Pit Wednesday.
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But the Diamondbacks (2-4) made the most important ones in overtime, as they sank 9-of-10 to produce a 63-58 win over the Spartans. Union Mine made 17-of-38 from the charity stripe in the game that was tied 51-all after four quarters.
“I’m happy with the fact that we made free throws when the game was on the line in overtime,” Union Mine head coach Mike Verbitsky said.
The D’backs saw their 30-20 halftime lead disappear in the third and fourth quarters. The Spartans trimmed the D’backs’ lead to 40-32 after three quarters.
Toward the end of the fourth quarter, Union Mine missed lay-ups and turned the ball over four times, including one that sent San Juan to the free throw line when the game was tied. But the shots were missed with 0.2 seconds left in the quarter, sending the game into overtime.
“We start four sophomores, and they are going to make sophomore mistakes,” Verbitsky said. “Fortunately the kid missed both free throws. It’s a learning experience for our guys. We have to learn that when you have a team down, you have to put your foot on their throat and put them away.”
Union Mine held San Juan to two points in the second quarter to build its 10-point halftime lead.
“The press was working for us,” Verbitsky said. “We got some steals. We got some lay-ups. We were rolling pretty well.”
D’back forward Andrew Vaughn — one of four sophomores on the team — had 22 points to lead his teammates. Union Mine forward Michael O’Neill — another sophomore — followed with 12 points. Guard Austin Russell had nine points, including two 3-pointers. Guard Tommy Tolman had six and guard Brody Pearman had five.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.