United Storm gets first victory

Justin Sims

The United Red Storm held off a late run by the Henry Mallards to win its first game of the season, 41-39 on Friday, Nov. 28.

United (1-2) jumped out to a 9-0 lead, holding Henry scoreless until 2:55 left in the first quarter. The Red Storm used a zone defense that prevented Henry from getting the ball into the paint and forced a lot of early turnovers.

"We played very well in the first half," United Coach Jim Noonan said. "We dominated the glass and got a lot of loose balls. We were doing about whatever we wanted offensively, and defensively we were doing a good job."

United led 11-6 after the first quarter and 26-13 after more of the same in the second.

However, in the second half United came out looking like it didn't want to lose, rather than stepping on Henry's throat. United committed a lot of turnovers, but still held a 10-point lead, 29-19, heading into the fourth.

The lead was nine, 35-26, with 5:17 left in the game when Henry's Max Kocher got hot, hitting a couple baskets to close the score to 35-30. After another United timeout, Kocher drew a foul and hit both shots cutting the lead to three.

But that was as close as Henry came, and sophomore Alex Gavin, who had eight points, hit several key free throws down the stretch to ice the game. Henry cut a five-point lead to two with a buzzer-beating three, put United had secured the win at that point.

"In the second half we got very tentative," Noonan said. "It's early though, and we were able to fight through it and we got a win."

The Red Storm was led by senior Peter Elliott's 18 points and 12 from Patrick Olin.