Union boys cruise into state semifinals

The Union Titans are win away from playing for a state championship.

Union used an 18-5 second-quarter run to pull away from Kennedy Catholic Thursday and the Titans went on to a lopsided 73-49 win in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A boys state basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

The victory advances Union, now 20-4 on the season, into the semifinals where the Titans will meet Richland (20-5) at 3:45 p.m. Friday. Richland posted a 61-57 win Thursday over Federal Way, the two-time defending state 4A champions.

Union senior Cameron Cranston, shown here shooting a free throw in a bi-district tournament game in February, had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Titans to a 73-49 win over Kennedy Catholic Thursday at the Class 4A boys state basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome. Photo by Mike Schultz
Union senior Cameron Cranston, shown here shooting a free throw in a bi-district tournament game in February, had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Titans to a 73-49 win over Kennedy Catholic Thursday at the Class 4A boys state basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome. Photo by Mike Schultz

Union led 18-15 after the first eight minutes of play. Cameron Cranston, the Washington state 4A Player of the Year, opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and then added another a couple of minutes later to push the Titans’ lead to 11 at 26-15.

Union extended the run to 15 straight points, capped off by a pair of free throws by Tyler Combs that put the Titans up by 18 at 33-15. Keithen Shepard capped off the first-half barrage with a 3-pointer that gave Union a 16-point edge (36-20) at halftime.

Cranston scored 11 of his team-high 18 points in the first half. The 6-foot-6 senior made seven of his 14 shots from the field, including four of nine from 3-point range. Cranston also had eight rebounds and five assists to complete his all-around effort.

Shepard added 17 points for Union on 8-for-13 shooting from the field to go with seven rebounds and five assists. Combs finished with 13 points while making all three of his 3-point attempts and all four of his free throws. Combs also had six rebounds and three assists.

Zach Reznick chipped in 11 points and five rebounds for Union.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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