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Bear River girls see hoop dreams end in NorCal semis

ORINDA – The Bear River girls basketball team’s postseason road show came to an end in its NorCal State Championship semifinal matchup with host, and top seed, Miramonte Saturday.

The unseeded Lady Bruins, who knocked off No. 4 Enterprise in Redding three days earlier, had the top-seeded Lady Matadors on the ropes early, but couldn’t get the knockout in a 59-37 loss.



“We came in here and battled really hard. I think the score’s a little misleading,” Lady Bruin head coach Duwaine Ganskie said. “They handled the ball well, moved it to open people and hit some big shots. We just didn’t shoot as well as we needed to and they did. That was the difference.”




Miramonte took the first lead of the game with a low post bucket by 6-foot-3-inch center Toni Mackey, but the Lady Bruins (24-9 overall) answered.

Bear River took a two-point lead on a Meaghan Noud baseline jumper with 3 minutes, 38 seconds left in the first quarter. The lead changed hands twice more before Noud converted a three-point play with 5:59 in the second stanza to put the visitors up 16-11.

Bear River went three of four from the free throw line in its next three possessions to build its biggest lead of the game at 19-13.

Mackey and Molly Nohr – who combined for 38 points on the night -sparked a 12-4 Matador run to end the half and give the hosts a 25-23 lead.

Miramonte went for the knockout to open the second half with a 6-2 run. Bear River turned the ball over on three straight trips down floor, before Noud broke the drought with a transition basket.

Nicole Scott, who scored nine points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, cut the lead back to seven on low post move, but the Lady Matadors hit from long range twice – including a Mackey buzzer-beater – to outscore Bear River 8-0 to end the third.

“That shot was the dagger in the heart. I don’t know how many three-point shots they had, but it seemed like every one they made came at the right time,” Ganskie said.

Miramonte held Bear River to 14 second-half points to win going away.

“I’m really proud of what we did today. I was just at the end where they hit the shots we couldn’t counter,” said Noud, who led Bear River with 15 points. “You have to score to win and we just didn’t do that tonight.”

In her last basketball game in a Bear River uniform, Briana Thomas pulled down five rebounds and had five points. Chelsea Korell, the Lady Bruins’ only other senior, scored two points.

Maya Bryant finished with four points. Cassie Smith chipped in two points.

“I’m really proud of the kids. Our No. 1 goal this year was to win the Sierra Foothill League championship and we did. We got into the final four of the NorCals and that’s a great accomplishment. There are a lot of teams sitting at home who wish they were in our spot,” Ganskie said.


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