PREP BASKETBALL: Nevada Union tips off season with win over Rio Americano | TheUnion.com

PREP BASKETBALL: Nevada Union tips off season with win over Rio Americano

Nevada Union officially tipped off the 2016-17 season with a 55-48 victory over Rio Americano at Albert Ali Gymnasium Tuesday night.

“Good effort by our guys tonight, can’t argue with that,” said Mark Casey, who will share the head coaching duties with Jeff Dellis this season. “We had a tough Foundation Game the night before and we didn’t show well… This is a nice win to get with a young group. We’re real happy with it.”

The Miners were in control for much of the game, taking a 30-19 lead into halftime and stretching their lead to 16 points in the third quarter.

Rio Americano chipped away at the lead and made a late run to pull within three points at 49-46 with 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. But, back-to-back 3-pointers from Nevada Union’s Jack Fraser and Gary Menary down the stretch thwarted any chance of a Rio Americano come back.

Menary, a senior and NU’s only returning starter from a season ago, had a strong game with 14 points and 15 rebounds despite battling the flu.

“That’s just the kind of fighter he is,” said Casey.

Fraser, a junior guard, finished with a team-high 15 points to go with five rebounds.

“Jack (Fraser) had big minutes for us tonight. He handled the ball, stayed very balanced and composed,” said Casey.

Also contributing for the Miners was senior Elias Weiss-Preszler with nine points, sophomore Dawson Fay with seven points and sophomore Cole Loper with six points.

“We grew up a tiny bit,” said Casey. “It’s hard to say that at the beginning of a 27-game season, but when we’re this young, it’s nice to see the younger guys step up.”

The victory comes a day after the Miners lost an exhibition “Foundation Game” against River Valley.

Next up for Nevada Union (1-0) is a road match next Tuesday at Casa Roble.

Nevada Union’s freshmen and junior varsity teams also notched wins over Rio Americano Tuesday.

LADY MINERS SOLID IN FOUNDATION GAME

The Nevada Union girls varsity team fared well in their Foundation Game against River Valley, winning 60-42.

The Lady Miners were led by junior Greta Kramer (16 points), Alexa Crabb (12 points) and Andrea Beltran (10 points).

Nevada Union will get its regular (non-league) season started Thursday at the Dorothy Speck Tournament in Davis.

Notes: In 2002, the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section approved Foundation Games for both volleyball and basketball in an effort to raise money for the A. Dale Lacky Scholarship and Women in Sports Conference. Foundation Games are considered exhibition games and do not count toward a team’s season record.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.