Union County falls in overtime

Union County goes up for a rebound against Baker County.
Union County goes up for a rebound against Baker County.
Mike Ridaught

Thursday night’s boys high school basketball game in Lake Butler was filled with big shot after big shot.

But in the end, it was Orlando Holland’s basket that ended up being the biggest.

Holland’s bucket under the basket with two seconds remaining gave visiting Baker County (Glen St. Mary) a 60-58 win in overtime at Union County.

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“We had way too many turnovers,” said Union County coach Jimmy Thomas, whose team dropped to 4-6. “But I think the key to it, we had possession, tied up, 30 seconds left to go, we shouldn’t shoot the ball until there’s three or two seconds, then they don’t have time to go down and make that score. But overall I thought we played real hard.”

Holland, who had 27 sacks this past football season, tied the game at 58-58 with 30 seconds to play in overtime, with the Tigers’ miss on their final possession setting up the heroics at the other end. The junior scored 22 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, including eight points in overtime.

It was the first win of the season for the Wildcats (1-8), who welcomed the return of football player Ronnie Ellis, giving Baker County its first healthy team all season.

“It feels good,” fourth-year Wildcats’ coach Marcel Thomas said of the team’s first win. “We still have a long way to go but we played tough and that’s the most important thing.”

Ellis, who was second on the football team with five interceptions, scored eight of his 10 points in the second half as Baker County rallied from a 27-17 deficit early in the third quarter.

Holland had several big baskets down the stretch, including a put back with 3:12 to play in the regulation for a 50-49 lead. He hit another big shot with :45 to play to give the Wildcats a 52-49 advantage.

However, Union County freshman Gavin Jenkins answered with a left wing 3-pointer with :26 to play to tie the game at 52-52.

“He’s getting better and better,” Jimmy Thomas said. “He’s going to be a big part of our program.”

Jenkins, who scoring 13 points in the second half, and sophomore Thomas Williams tied for team-high honors with 15 points apiece.

Union County will travel to Interlachen on Friday. The tip is at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re still going to get better and better,” Jimmy Thomas said. “What has hurt us the last two games is turnovers. If we can eliminate the turnovers, and take care of the possession on the other end, we’re going to be alright.”

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