Union Parish 51, Sterlington 48
Quan Jenkins converted 4-of-5 free throws for the game's only points over the final 2:49 as Union Parish turned back the upset-minded Sterlington Panthers 51-48 Thursday night at the Panthers' Den.
Kyle Henderson's 3-pointer gave Sterlington its first lead since early in the third quarter, 48-47, at the three-minute mark.
Fouled on a 3-point attempt on the Farmers' next possession, Jenkins made the first two, enabling the visitors to take a 49-48 lead.
Sterlington would go scoreless on its final three possessions.
Jenkins made both ends of a one-and-one with 13.1 seconds to play, extending the difference to 51-48.
Unable to get a good look on its final offensive opportunity, Sterlington came up empty on a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Henderson's first of six 3s staked the Panthers to an early 7-4 lead.
Union countered with 11 unanswered points. Jordan Jones had a hand in the final nine points, dishing to Rakeyman Fields down low for an easy deuce, and sinking three straight buckets on a pair of transition layups and a 3-ball.
Henderson's layup ended the Panthers' drought, but Jalen Jones' three-point play extended the spread to 18-9 at the end of the quarter.
Union led by 11 on two occasions at 20-9 and 27-16. Three-pointers by Chance Carter and Henderson helped the Panthers close within 29-22 at the end of the quarter.
Continuing to chip away, the Panthers twice drew within two at 37-35 on Reid Handy's corner 3 and Justin Fuller's bucket from the paint.
Jordan Jones' 3-pointer from the top of the circle as time expired gave the Farmers a 42-37 lead going into the final quarter.
Another Jones 3-bomb opened the fourth quarter scoring as the Farmers increased the margin to 45-37.
Trailing 47-42, the Panthers temporarily overtook The U on back-to-back trifectas by Green and Henderson.
Jordan Jones sank a trio of 3s en route to leading the Farmers (13-5, 3-0) with 19 points. Jenkins tallied nine, Jalen Jones seven, Fields and Dylan Harris six each, and Jalen Andrews and Coreyunn Glosson two apiece.
Henderson had a game-high 24 for the Panthers. Kaden Key, Fuller and Green were next with six, with three from both Handy and Carter.
Making a quick turn-around, both teams are at home Friday night. Sterlington (14-7, 0-3) is matched against Madison Parish, while the Farmers (13-5, 3-0) face Wossman in Farmerville.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: Sterlington, which sank 10 3-pointers, never attempted a free throw. There were few — if any — questionable calls in the paint as the Panthers relied almost exclusively on their outside shooting. .... Union shot only nine free throws, making five. Neither team was in the bonus until the Panthers were forced to foul in the final minute. ... Both teams were whistled for nine fouls.