MAYNARDVILLE – The rims at Union County High School showed no love to the Grainger Grizzlies on Valentine’s Day as the Patriots cruised to a 69-49 win on Friday.

Grainger couldn’t get anything going on offense, and that affected their defense on the other end.

“We couldn’t guard them,” Grainger head coach Adam Wolfenbarger said after the game. “We mixed it up, tried some different things tonight. We didn’t guard them that well at home, so we tried to do something totally different tonight but we just couldn’t guard them. We bounced back and forth and tried something different, but Union County just always got the shot they were looking for.”

Jaxson Williams was the lone bright spot for Grainger as he scored 15 points. Wolfenbarger said his team’s difficulty to score points reared its ugly head again in Friday’s game. “We got stagnant against the zone and couldn’t make shots again. It’s a simple game when you make shots, and this just seems to be a reoccurring thing.”

Grainger opened the game impressively as they jumped out to a 7-1 lead which included Williams’ diving for and saving the ball out of bounds which went right to Luke Jones for an easy hoop. Union County shot themselves back into it and took the lead until Brody Grubb connected on a shot from beyond the arc to give the visitors a 12-11 lead with a minute and half left in the first quarter. Unfortunately for Grainger, that was the last field goal they scored the rest of the way as Union County claimed a 17-14 lead going into the second quarter.

The Grizzlies took advantage of a technical foul that was assessed against the Patriots’ bench. Tristan Warfield hit a three after the free throws by Grainger were shot and that put the Grizzlies up 18-17. That was the last lead the Grizzlies would hold as Union County came back and claimed a 31-25 lead at the break, despite Williams playing well and scoring 12 points in the half. Union County quickly built their lead to double digits and kept up the pressure until they staked claim to a 55-35 lead headed to the final period.

Union County’s hot shooting continued into the fourth as they built a sizable lead. Ty Overbay rounded out the Grainger scoring as he netted four points on steal and lay-up plays to produce the 69-49 final.

The Patriots (15-11) were led in scoring by Dawson Epperson who poured in 26 points. Peyton Keck scored 17 points, Seth Bates added 13 and Eli Edds rounded things out with 10 points. Grainger (13-14) concludes the regular season on Monday night as they travel to Pigeon Forge for a date against the Tigers.