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Gray Stone women avenge playoff loss with win over Union Academy

On its way to a West Region runner-up finish last year, the Union Academy girls’ basketball squad ended Gray Stone’s season in the third round of the state playoffs.

The home-standing Knights with 11 players returning from the 2018-19 squad took full advantage of an opportunity for revenge Tuesday posting a 44-37 win over the visiting Cardinals.

The contest, considerably more one-sided than the final score, was controlled for 27 of the game’s 32 minutes by Gray Stone’s gritty and aggressive full-court press.

“We create a lot of our offense through a strong defense,” said Gray Stone coach Robert Stack after the game, “and our defense enables us to open up big leads quite often.”

Senior guard Danielle Werts and senior forward Seccora Medley provided much of the Knights’ offensive spark with an outside-inside mix that stretched the Union Academy defense.   

Medley led all scorers with 20 points, nearly all of which came from inside the paint. When the Cardinal defense sagged back to deny Medley the ball early in the second half, Werts calmly swished a trio of three-pointers, forcing the defenders to guard the perimeter and opening up the middle.

“That inside-outside combination with Seccora and Danielle was big,” said Stack.

After falling behind 43-20 with just over five minutes to play, Union Academy refused to go quietly, and scored 17 of the game’s final 18 points to account for the final tally.

Medley, who was nearly unstoppable in the middle, had very few uncontested shots.

“It was kind of rough, but I can handle it,” said the 6-foot senior, who credited her teammates with bringing “great energy” to the game.

“We are family,” she said, “and we have great chemistry.”

Gray Stone travels to Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, and opens conference play on Friday at North Moore.