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Union’s Danielle Ogden

GIRLS

Vastly improved Union girls open against Falcons

Season in a Nutshell

Winners of three of their last four games, the Lady Rockets enter the 2020 county tournament playing their best basketball in the past few years.

Union has won three of its past four games and looking at the schedule, has a chance to win three or four more before the season ends.

Remember that Union did not win a game last year, so this marks a huge improvement from one year to the next. Coach and Athletic Director Ryan Chiddister has done a nice job of not only keeping the program moving forward, but putting together a schedule that gives Union’s team a chance at some success. And with some talent at the junior high level, expect the Rockets to continue to move forward for at least a few years.

Led by junior Danielle Ogden and a talented freshman Honour Ellis, the Rockets have made some strides since the the first of the year and have wins over Indiana Math & Science, Purdue Polytechnic, Christel House Academy and most significantly Wes-Del, a Mid-Eastern Conference opponent.

The Rockets have also had contributions from seniors Brenda Foy, juniors Autumn Rice, Faith Smoak, Harley Losey and freshman Brenda Foy.

It may be awhile before we see a team circa 2015-16 featuring DeAnn Kauffman, Rylee Davis, MacKyndsea Burke, Faithlan Ellis and Mallory Green, but the Rockets should get better in the next few years.

Tourney Flashback

Speaking of that 2016 team, that was the last of three county titles in a row for Union, so it really hasn’t been all that long ago when Union had one of the best teams around.

Can the Rockets win the County Tourney?

Bluntly, no they can’t. Not this year anyway. But keep in mind, this is a field that has three top 10 teams and that’s not going to be the case every year. What the Rockets can do, however, is play hard and show the spectators that the school continues to have great pride and a young team that might challenge in the next few years.

BOYS

Carmony: ‘If Evansville can beat Kentucky’

Season in a Nutshell

Union has not won in six games, and with a scheduled Jan. 6 date with Seton Catholic that might be seven at the time of this publication.

But here’s the thing with the Rockets. They’re close. They’re competitive. 

Champ Ellis is a gamer and carries most of the offensive load, and big 6’7” Christian Fowler gives the Rockets a formidable inside presence.

What the Rockets need, perhaps more than anything, is to get some more production from a couple of other players. Clayton Oliver, Joe Guffey, Brayden Adams and Zane Sharp have shown the ability to put the ball in the hoop. If a couple of them could knock down a few more shots, the Rockets could start winning some games.

“We’ve been right there in a few games, but we need to learn how to finish,” says Dan Carmony.

Union has not played a game since Dec. 20 when the Rockets lost 59-51 to Christel House Academy. They will face Winchester in Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. game. 

Tourney Flashback

Union’s lone County Tourney championship in the past 25 years was in 2012-13 under Jeff Holloway when the Rockets topped Winchester, 51-43 in the championship game. The Rockets went on to win their second straight sectional title in that same year.

Can the Rockets win the County Tourney?

“If Evansville can beat Kentucky, then it tells you anything can happen,” Carmony says, referring to an upset earlier this year in men’scollege basketball. But it’s very, very unlikely.

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Union Rockets (Boys)

Current Record: 0 wins, 6 losses

Biggest Win: No wins.

Toughest Loss: The Rockets fell 68-66 to Fishers Christian on Dec. 10. So close.

Last County Title: 2014

Tourney Opener: Union faces defending champion Winchester at 7:30 p.m. Thursdayin the second semifinal game.

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Union Rockets (Girls)

Current Record: 4-8

Biggest Win: The Lady Rockets had not won a Mid-Eastern Conference game in three years when they won at Wes-Del 42-37 on Dec. 18.

Toughest Loss: Probably the 41-29 home loss to Cambridge City would qualify. The Rockets have not beat a Tri-Eastern Conference team since Jan. 26, 2016, when they defeated Centerville, 46-38.

Last County Title: 2016

Tourney Opener: The Lady Rockets face defending champion Winchesterat 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the first round girls’ game.