ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Nevada Union grad Aycee Willis, Warriors roll into conference tourney on hot streak
Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, and the William Jessup University women’s basketball team are on a roll after closing the regular season with a pair of convincing wins over conference foes.
The Warriors pounded Golden State Athletic Conference opponent Arizona Christian University, 72-54, Thursday and knocked off Ottawa University, 81-50, in their regular season finale Saturday.
Willis, a junior guard, tallied 17 points and seven rebounds in the win over Ottawa. She notched five points and three rebounds in the contest with Arizona Christian.
For the season, Willis is averaging 11.3 points per game and 4.3 rebounds.
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With last week’s victories, William Jessup has won four of their last five games. The Warriors finished the regular season 19-10 overall and with a 12-6 mark in conference play, good enough for fourth place in the GSAC.
The No. 4 seeded Warriors open the GSAC tourney at 3:30 p.m. Thursday against No. 5 Hope International at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
While at Nevada Union, Willis was an All-Sierra Foothill League selection as a sophomore.
She went on to be a standout at Sierra College where she was an All-Conference selection and helped the Wolverines make the playoffs in consecutive seasons before transferring to William Jessup.
Meadow Aragon, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the Western Oregon University Wolves closed the season on a high note, topping the University of Alaska (Fairbanks), 89-52, to snap a 13-game losing streak.
Aragon, a freshman forward, scored four points, grabbed six rebounds and tallied three blocks in t he win.
For the season, Aragon has played in all 27 of the Wolves’ games and started the last 10. She averaged 4.3 points per game and 4.1 rebounds.
While at Nevada Union Aragon was a four-year varsity player, helping the Lady Miners reach the playoffs three times. She was an all-league selection as a sophomore and a junior, and was named the Foothill Valley League co-MVP her senior season.
Western Oregon (6-21, 3-17) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.
Men’s college basketball
David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands men’s basketball rode a late season surge all the way to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament title game.
Redlands closed the regular season on a nine-game win streak. Menary and the No. 2 seeded Bulldogs then topped Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the SCIAC tourney semifinals, 68-66, but came up short against Pomona-Pitzer, 87-66, in the title game.
Menary, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward, scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds in the semifinal win. He then scored seven points and pulled down seven rebounds in the title game loss to Pomona Pitzer.
For the season, Menary led the Bulldogs in points per game (14.5) and blocks per game (1.0). He was also second on the team in assists per game (3.2). He was named to the 2019-20 All-SCIAC First Team. Menary also earned All-SCIAC First Team honors after the 2018-19 season and was an All-SCIAC Second Teamer after his sophomore season.
During his four years at Redlands, Menary played in 99 games, starting 75. He averaged 13.5 points per game for his career to go with 5.3 rebounds.
While at Nevada Union Menary was a standout athlete, playing three-years of varsity basketball and helping the Miners reach the playoffs in the 2015-16 season. He earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors in both basketball and volleyball his senior year.
Redlands finished the season with a 20-7 overall mark and a 12-4 record in SCIAC play.
Andrew Schnitzius, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the No. 12 Lyon College Scots went 4-1 last week, splitting a double-header with Blue Mountain College and sweeping a three-game series with Hannibal-Lagrange University.
Schnitzius, a senior catcher, played in three of the five contests, but only logged two at-bats. He was 1-for-2 for the week.
For the season, Schnitzius played in six games and started five. He’s batting .222 with two RBIs.
During Schnitzius’ time at NU, he was a standout in both football and baseball, earning all-league honors in both sports.
Lyon (15-4) is a NAIA school which competes in the American Midwest Conference.
Nerissa Eason, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Oregon State softball team went 4-2 at the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii last week.
Eason, a senior pitcher, appeared in one game at the tourney, throwing three innings of relief in a loss to Seattle University. Eason didn’t allow a hit and struck out two while walking one and giving up two unearned runs. It was her first appearance of the season.
While at Bear River, Eason dominated from the circle. During her four-year varsity career, she was 70-21 overall with a .86 ERA and 1,002 strikeouts. During her senior year, she went 22-1 and boasted a .55 ERA. Eason also batted .482 and had nine home runs her senior year. She was named the Pioneer Valley League MVP three years in a row.
Danny Gratten, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, and the Montevallo University (Alabama) lacrosse team fell to No. 20 ranked Florida Southern College in their only contest last week.
Gratten is a sophomore long pole defender for Montevallo.
While in high school, Gratten was a key member of the Gold Country Stampede varsity team that went 17-1 and claimed the 2018 Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association championship.
Montevallo (3-2, 1-0) is an NCAA Division II school which competes in the Great Lakes Valley East Conference.
Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email or call 530-477-4232.
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