Unioto & Westfall play instant classic to start SVC season
By Shayne Combs, SVCsportszone.com
Opening night or not – this could be the game of the year. If at the end of the year it is not the game of
the year, I can only hope I get to attend the game that betters this one. If you weren’t at Unioto
Tuesday night, I will try to describe it the best I can.

The first three quarters were innocent enough. The game was playing out about the way I expected.
Unioto’s pressure was making life rough for Westfall’s perimeter to dribble, pass, and catch with
any success at all. When Westfall was able to get it inside, more times than not, Unioto did not have an
answer for Westfall’s size.

Unioto appeared to be ready to put the game away in the second half. The Shermans led 40-30 after the
third quarter, and Westfall continued to be in some serious foul trouble. Westfall received great minutes
from their bench to start the final quarter, and point guard Neal Hegarty started to have success getting
into the paint against the Unioto defense. Westfall had worked their way back to 47-44 and had a look at
a three that would have tied it. The three missed with the rebound coming long. Unioto’s Corbin Hill
took the long rebound and threw a beautiful long bounce pass to Christian Dunkle who converted an old-
fashion three-point play. With Unioto up six with two minutes remaining, it looked like Unioto would now
put the game to bed; however, Westfall once again came fighting back.

In the fourth quarter, Westfall’s Derek Robertson – who probably didn’t play more than five
or six minutes in the first three quarters due to foul trouble – was finally able to impact the game on the
offensive end. The junior scored on back-to-back elbow jumpers to cut the Unioto lead to three at 55-
52. After Unioto was unable to ice the game at the line, Hegarty had one last chance as he used a great
on-ball screen from Alek Stonerock and let loose a high arching three-pointer from the right wing that
found the bottom of the net to tie the game at 55-55 to send the atmosphere into a frenzy and the game to

Now it was Westfall’s turn to give away chances. The Mustangs scored the first four points of the
first overtime and the first six points of the second overtime, and both times, the Mustangs were unable to
finish the deal at the foul line. By the way, Westfall was 10-30 from the charity stripe Tuesday night.
Unioto fought back in the first overtime on the strength of Brick Davis. Davis lived in the paint during the
overtime periods. Davis had success getting to the line early in the first OT, and then down 61-58, Davis
found Hill for a three-pointer from the left wing to tie things up at 61-61. In the second overtime, Unioto
again took advantage of Westfall’s poor FT shooting, and again it was Davis converting at the line to
tie it at 70-70.

This was the first time in nearly an hour where it was becoming obvious that the game was Unioto’s
to lose. Westfall had four of their top players gone from the game due to fouls, and Coach Mink was
forced to go with combinations that he probably never dreamed he would have on the floor at a time like
this. To the credit of the Westfall kids, they did hang around again. Down just 73-72, Unioto scored the
game’s final six points to win it 79-72. The Unioto guards were really able to spread Westfall out,
and eventually put it away at the line.

This was a game that was fun to watch, fun to play, probably fun and quite stressful to coach. It was a
game that was incredibly tough to lose, and a game you would feel fortunate to win. I think this win could
go a long way in helping Unioto’s confidence this season, and I believe Westfall will bounce back and
draw many positives from this as well.

OTHER THREE SVC GAMES ON TONIGHT’S McDonald’s i’m lovin’ it SVC Boys
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