Big weekend for girls’ hoops |

Big weekend for girls’ hoops

Though they are knee deep in their league schedules, all three area varsity girls basketball teams will head for Center High School Saturday and the Sacramento Challenge.

The event, essentially a chance for area girls basketball fans to see some of the section’s strongest teams on display, will include the varsity squads from Bear River, Forest Lake Christian and Nevada Union.

Judging from the league schedule this week, Saturday’s showcase likely will be the best foes the area teams face this week.

Nevada Union (12-9 overall, 5-2 Metro Conference) is scheduled to tip off against Placer (18-3, 6-1 Sierra Foothill League) at 11 a.m. Saturday. NU head coach Duwaine Ganskie, whose former teams at Bear River also participated in the past, said the annual Sac Challenge seemed like a must this year, considering the Miners have just one other game this week.

“With only one game this week, it worked out well to get the second game,” said Ganskie, whose Miners host Metro foe Johnson (4-13, 1-6) on Thursday. “When I was at Bear River, we looked at this as a way to beef up our schedule, a tune-up before the playoffs, to see some more challenging games.”

The story is the same this year for Bear River, now led by former Ganskie assistant Jeff Bickmore. The Bruins (14-4, 6-0 Pioneer Valley League) have never lost in three seasons of PVL play, meaning a mid-season matchup with Sierra of the Valley Oak League (Manteca) (13-6, 5-2) was a welcomed addition to the season slate. The Bruins and Timberwolves are also scheduled to take the floor at 11 a.m.

Forest Lake Christian (14-5, 8-0 Central Valley Christian League) is set to tip off against Chico (15-4, 7-0 Eastern Athletic League) in a 2:30 p.m. matchup at Center Saturday.

That contest, FLC head coach Steve Kellar said, should be a rare challenge for the Falcons, who haven’t faced a CVCL team that has managed to stay within 20 points of them this season.

“We want to play good teams,” Kellar said, “and get better for the playoffs.

“That’s how you get better, playing good competition.”

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