On Tuesday, Nevada Union girls basketball coach John McDaniel said a win over Sierra Foothill League rival Del Oro would put NU in the driver’s seat for the rest of league play.
Well, buckle up because the Lady Miners are at the wheel and driving for another SFL title after thumping Del Oro, 71-50, Wednesday night at Albert Ali Gymnasium.
“We came out, and we were able to play our game, especially in the first quarter,” McDaniel said after the lopsided victory. “Basketball is a game of runs, and we saw they were going on a run, and I thought our girls didn’t veer from their game plan, and I think they executed all night.”
Playing in front of a raucous home crowd, the Lady Miners’ press defense frustrated the Lady Golden Eagles, and Del Oro turnovers quickly manifested into NU points.
“Our defense has just gotten so much better this year,” Senior captain Sydney Porter said. “We have worked together so much better with help. Our defense is the key to why we win and why we are doing so well.”
Porter led the Lady Miners (15-4, 4-0 SFL) on the offensive end with a season-high 27 points, including 16 points in the third quarter. It is Porter’s third 20-plus scoring game in a row and her 10th this season.
“This just sets the tone for the rest of our league and the rest of playoffs,” Porter said. “It puts a bigger target on our back. Everyone’s going to want to beat us now and take away the undefeated. It just means we have to work harder, but this definitely sets the tone.”
Nevada Union’s Emma Peterson also topped 20, scoring 23 points, including three 3-pointers. Peterson also grabbed three steals and three rebounds.
The Lady Miners got off to a quick start, scoring the game’s first nine points on their way to a 19-9 first-quarter edge.
Del Oro fired back in the second with a 10-0 run to pull the game within three at 22-19, but that’s as close as the Lady Golden Eagles would get the rest of the game. NU responded with a 13-4 run to end the quarter, which featured a 3-pointer from Porter and two from Peterson.
In the third, NU pushed the lead to 20, and Del Oro never threatened again.
Del Oro’s trio of talented front court players only combined for 29 points, most of which came from Lauren Heyn with 14. Mia Maglinte scored nine, and Hannah Jordan scored six.
Heyn’s 14 points didn’t come easy though as Melanie O’Brien, Sammy DeHart, Grace Paye and Katie Johnson did a good job protecting the paint for NU.
DeHart closed the game with six points, seven rebounds and four steals, and O’Brien finished with six points.
Erin Selleck was impressive distributing the ball for NU, tallying 10 assists to go with six points.
“We put a lot of pressure on defenses all around the board, and it’s very rare that there are teams that can do that. It’s pretty amazing,” McDaniel said.
The victory puts the Lady Miners alone at the top of the SFL as the only team without a blemish and knocks Del Oro (14-6, 3-1 SFL) into second place.
The Lady Miners hit the court again at 5:30 p.m. Friday, hosting Roseville at Albert Ali Gymnasium.
JV: Nevada Union 67, Del Oro 52
The Lady Miners trailed 33-26 at half. Whatever head coach Gia Grimm said in the locker room worked because NU outscored Del Oro 41-19 in the second half to grab the win Wednesday.
Ella Walton led the Lady Miners with 21 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Walton also hit a late 3 to help push NU’s fourth-quarter lead to seven. Aycee Willis added 12 points, including an and-1 late in the fourth to put the game away. Willis also pulled down six rebounds and had five steals. Shawna Latter scored 13 in the win, Chelsea Rodriguez dished out five assists and scored nine points, all from beyond the arc and all in the second half, and Mellisa Wilcoxen provided a much-needed spark off the bench for NU in the third quarter.
The Lady Miners are now 3-1 in SFL play and will take on Roseville Friday.
Frosh: Del Oro 45, Nevada Union 44
The Lady Miners dropped their first SFL game of the season, falling to Del Oro by one at home Wednesday.
Avery Delhez led NU with 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Shaye Costanza scored 13 points to go with five steals.
The Lady Miners are back at it today against Roseville.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.