Division I – Nevada Union wins first-round test over Downey
If the Nevada Union girls basketball team wanted a test in its Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Tournament first-round homecourt matchup with Downey (Modesto) Thursday, it got one.
The third-seeded Miners held on to the lead by their fingertips for most of the first three and a half quarters, but turned it on late to top the No. 14 Knights, 54-41.
“In our preparation for this game, and scouting them, we knew Downey was a tough team. They’ve got tough kids and they’re in a tough league. They’ve got two guards who can create a lot of problems and they forced us to change up our defense,” NU head coach Craig Strohm said. “We had to play well, which I thought we did, and we had to play good defense (if we wanted a chance to advance.)”
The Miners (20-6 overall) will play No. 6 Sheldon – which defeated 11th-seeded Merrill West (Tracy) 60-53 Thursdays – in a quarterfinal matchup at Galt High School noon Saturday.
NU’s Tanya Noe came off the bench for a team-best 15 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“Tanya’s been doing that all season long,” Strohm said. “She’s been playing tough on both ends of the floor. She’s hit some big shots for us and she’s becoming a defensive stopper too.”
For Noe, who also chipped in a team-best seven offensive rebounds, it was all in a day’s work.
“You’ve got to go into the game with the mentality that you’re going (to do whatever its takes),” she said. “If you’re open and got the hot hand you’ve got to keep going. Plus, Kayleigh (Correll) gave me a lot of nice passes.”
Correll, a senior point guard, finished with eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to go along with six rebounds, four assists and a team best five steals.
Up by just six points with four minutes, seven seconds left in regulation, NU’s offense kicked it into high gear.
Ali Parrot sandwiched a driving layup between a Noe hit a 3-pointer and transition layup to pump the lead to 13 points.
Correll drained a pair of free throws on the Miners’ next touch and the rout was on.
Parrot finished with six points, eight rebounds, three steals and an assist. Heather Gore had 10 points, including two 3-pointers, along with five rebounds.
Ali Daley had eight points with a team-best 11 rebounds. Tracy Malone added five points, four rebounds and for assists.
Dominque Burrell led Downey with 15 points.
“It’s the playoffs, son every game is like a stepping stone. The games get tougher and tougher,” Noe said. “We’ve got the first step out of the way, now we have to keep the progression going.”
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