URICHSVILLE, Ohio - It had been more than 10 days since Union Local took the floor following its only loss of the season in the OVAC Championship Game.
And at times during Wednesday's Ohio Division III sectional opener at Claymont High School, the Jets showed signs of rust.
However, as the calendar prepares to turn to March, the Jets, who finished ranked third in the Associated Press Poll, could care less about style points. Most importantly to them and their large contingent of fans that made the trek to Tuscarawas County, the Jets finished with more points.
Union Local earned a return trip to Claymont to take on Sandy Valley, which dispatched Bellaire in the nightcap, by virtue of a 51-37 victory against Coshocton.
"Not having played for so long had something to do with it, but once the game starts you have to settle in and play," Jets coach Ben Porter said. "At times I thought we played well, but at other times I thought we got careless with some things."
After grabbing a 15-11 lead in the first quarter, the Jets were never sriously challenged. They did have trouble fully shaking a Coshocton team that concludes its season at 4-19.
Union Local owned an 11-point lead at halftime and stretched it to as many as 17 in the third quarter. However, Coshocton shaved it to 13 entering the final quarter.
"Everytime we got the lead up around 17 or 18 I think our kids got a little bit complacent," Porter said. "Our guys were trying to make plays, so I can't fault that, but we were probably trying to make too big of a play and got a little bit careless with the ball."
The lead swelled back to as many as 17 in the fourth at 46-29. Union Local didn't record its first field goal in the fourth quarter until there was a little more than three minutes to play, but did knock down 10 free throws in the fourth.
"Coshocton is very fundamentally sound and I knew they'd play hard," Porter said. "They hurt us on the offensive boards at times. I think they wanted the ball more than we did a few times."
The Jets were led in the scoring column by Trenton Tipton who was their lone player in double figures at 18.
Union Local welcomed the return of Kaleb McDiffitt to the starting lineup for the first time since Feb. 6, when he re-aggraved a knee injury against Bellaire. He finished with nine points and appeared to have not lost a step.