They toppled Del Oro’s seven year reign at the top of the Sierra Foothill League last year. Now they’re just getting comfortable.
For the second straight year, the Lady Miners are the SFL girls basketball champions.
Led by senior Sydney Porter’s 33 points, Nevada Union beat Del Oro, 70-57, Tuesday to finish the season 22-4 overall, 10-0 in SFL play, and most importantly as league champs.
“It’s such a good feeling,” Porter said. “We haven’t gone 10-0 in league in who knows how many years, so it’s definitely an accomplishment.”
Making the feat even more impressive was Nevada Union earned it on Del Oro’s home floor, a place where the Lady Golden Eagles have lost just two games to league opponents in nine years. Both losses have been to Nevada Union.
“To beat Del Oro on their home floor is such an accomplishment,” Porter said. We did it my sophomore year, but they got us on our floor, so to beat them twice this year is really nice. I’m so proud of our team.”
Porter was impressive from the start, scoring 14 in the first half to help NU to a 32-23 halftime edge. Unfortunately for Del Oro, Porter was just getting warmed up. She really turned it on in the second half. The three-year varsity starter scored 19 more before the game was over, hitting four of her six 3-pointers down the stretch.
Tuesday night marked the second time Porter has topped 30 in her last four games, and the 15th time she has eclipsed 20 points in a game this season.
While Porter is a very talented scorer, she couldn’t put up the numbers she does without senior point guard Erin Selleck running the offense, Porter said.
“(Selleck) is so important,” she said. “The only reason I score is because of her. She gets the ball up to me when it needs to be pushed, she drives and dishes to me for three, she’s so important and she has improved so much. She is such a huge factor.”
Selleck did a good job of handling the Del Oro press and setting up her teammates. The senior point guard, also in her third year with the varsity squad, finished with nine points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals.
In the second half, Del Oro’s offense came alive as senior Mia Maglinte started hitting from downtown. Maglinte, who was matched up with Porter, finished with 20 points and hit three step-back 3-pointers to keep the Lady Golden Eagles close. But every time Del Oro inched closer, NU had an answer.
“When a person scores on you, you definitely want to get back and answer,” Porter said. “You don’t want to let them get momentum.”
Nevada Union never did let Del Oro have the momentum for too long as the Lady Miners held a six-point or more lead for the entire second half.
Junior Sammy DeHart added 11 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for NU and senior Emma Peterson added nine points.
Del Oro’s other bright spot was junior Lauren Heyn, with 16 points and 14 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive.
The win for NU marks a power shift in the SFL, which had been dominated by Del Oro for years.
From 2005-2012, Del Oro reigned supreme, winning seven league titles and accumulating a 46-1 league record at home.
But 2013 and 2014 have been the Lady Miners’ years. Nevada Union has won 19-of-20 league games over the last two seasons, is 10-0 at home in those games, and most importantly has the championship banners.
The Lady Miners will likely have a home playoff game when the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff brackets are released today.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.