In the Lady Miners’ final tuneup before Sierra Foothill League play tips off next week, they looked like a well oiled machine.
The Nevada Union girls basketball team (12-3) fired on all cylinders Friday at Albert Ali Gymnasium as they out-shot and overwhelmed visiting Monterey Trail (11-6), 78-46.
The game was a track meet from the start as both teams pressured full court, leading to steals, turnovers, fast breaks and exciting play.
“That’s what we love to do,” NU head coach John McDaniel said. “We like to push and press. We love that tempo.”
Nevada Union, No. 6 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I MaxPreps rankings, opened the game on an 11-2 run, getting baskets from Nicole Lierly, Kaylin Martin, Erin Selleck and Sydney Porter.
“We like to go fast,” Porter said. “If we beat presses, it’s easy to get layups and easy to score on the fast break.”
Porter nabbed four steals in the game to go with 14 points, a team-high six rebounds and three assists.
Monterey Trail’s pressure defense started to cause problems for NU at the end of the first quarter, as the Lady Mustangs, No. 11 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I MaxPreps rankings, bucked back with a 13-4 run to close the quarter tied at 15.
In the second quarter, NU again stormed out of the gates with buckets from Martin, Porter, Selleck and Lierly. The Lady Miners scored seven points in the quarter’s first 55 seconds to start a 20-6 run that Monterey Trail was never able to recover from.
Martin scored 11 of her 14 points in the first half, and Lierly scored eight of her team-high 15 in the first half.
With a 39-25 halftime lead, NU didn’t put on the breaks, extending its lead in the third behind impressive defense. The Lady Miners outscored Monterey Trail 17-9 in the quarter to extend their lead to 56-34.
The good defense and hot shooting didn’t stop in the fourth as NU outscored the Lady Mustangs 22-12, getting points from Selleck, Melanie O’Brien, Olivia Gulsvig, Sarina Orellana and Katie Johnson.
Gulsvig, Johnson and Selleck finished the night with eight points each, and every active Lady Miner scored.
With the victory, the Lady Miners have won their last nine games and are 4-0 at home this season as they head into SFL play.
“We have been looking to go all the way this season,” Porter said. “Go to the playoffs, and go as deep as we can, winning (league) is our goal. Winning (league) is what its all about.”
Winning league will not be an easy task, as Del Oro has had a seven-year stranglehold on the top spot, but it’s a task that Porter thinks is well within reach.
“This team right here, this is what its going to take,” she said of what it will take to win league. “All we got to do is push and play the way we’re playing. We’re on a streak right now, so we just got to keep playing like were playing, and we will win league this year.”
NU fell a game short of the SFL title last season but did take one of two games with Del Oro.
NU opens the SFL season Jan. 11 at Woodcreek.
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