The Pleasant Valley Lady Vikings sailed into Albert Ali Gymnasium Tuesday night, only to be greeted by a fierce storm conjured up by the Nevada Union girls basketball team.
The Lady Miners (6-3) battered Pleasant Valley (4-3) with sharp shooting and wave upon wave of press defense, eventually capsizing the Lady Vikings, 62-46.
“I loved the way we looked offensively in the first half,” NU coach John McDaniel said. “(Pleasant Valley) tried three different defenses, but when our girls are shooting like that, it’s tough. Syd (Porter) was hitting, Nicole (Lierly) was hitting, Sammy (DeHart) was hitting, we were hitting inside, we were hitting outside. It’s fun to watch.”
Porter got NU rolling in the first quarter with 10 points, including two 3-pointers and two steals. Porter led the Lady Miners with a game-high 16 points and five steals in the contest.
Seven different Lady Miners scored in the first quarter as NU jetted out to a 24-6 lead.
In the second, NU continued to build its lead, this time getting strong performances from senior Kaylin Martin and sophomore DeHart. Martin sank a pair of baskets and Dehart tallied six of her eight points in the quarter.
In the first half, the NU defense was smothering. The Lady Miners burgled 12 possessions from the Lady Vikings and finished with 16 steals for the game.
Nevada Union headed into the locker room with a comfortable 22 point lead at, 39-17.
But, like the Vikings of the 8th century, Pleasant Valley wasn’t going to leave without a fight.
The Lady Vikings charged out of the gates in the third quarter on a 9-2 run. Leading the Lady Viking charge was Jessica Gallaway with six of her team-high 11 points, 10 of which came in the second half.
Pleasant Valley took the third quarter 17-9, cutting the NU lead down to 14.
“They put the ball inside and we had no answer defensively in the second half,” McDaniel said. “In the first half, we did a good job physically against their post. We came out after halftime and our posts were not aggressive and we weren’t helping which hurts the posts.”
In the fourth, the Lady Miners shored up the defense and went to work sustaining their lead. Martin scored six of her 15 points in the fourth, and baskets from Olivia Gulsvig, Lierly and Porter helped close out the game for NU.
Nevada Union junior Erin Selleck facilitated the offense well in the win with three assists to go with five points and four steals. Sarina Orellana played strong in the paint with a pair of blocks, Gulsvig scored six points despite early foul trouble, and eight of the 10 active Lady Miners scored.
“We are very deep,” McDaniel said. “We could literally do a whole line change, hockey style, and not really miss a beat.”
With the double-digit win, NU has taken each of their six wins by at least 15 points.
The Lady Miners will have little time to celebrate the victory though as they take the court again at 7 p.m. today at Foothill.
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, call (530) 477-4232 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org