Fourth straight win for Lady Miners
Nevada Union’s Lady Miners hosted Rocklin’s Lady Thunder Tuesday night in a Sierra Foothill League battle between basketball teams living on the playoff bubble.
Nevada Union deflated the Lady Thunder with a 48-45 win, which left 17th-rated Rocklin looking for another victory to keep its playoff hopes alive.
The Lady Miners, who have now won four straight games, likely lifted their rating even higher than the 14th spot they held when this week’s section power ratings were released.
Audrianna Colomb hit a 3-point shot with 1:46 on the fourth-quarter clock to take the lead 48-45 and neither team scored again.
“I was really hoping it would go in,” Colomb said.
NU played the last quarter without its leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Milhous, who fouled out, for the last four minutes of the game and Colomb’s trey was its only shot from the floor.
The Thunder trailed 39-30 at the start of the fourth, but took the lead when Megan Hanson hit a 3-point shot to take the lead 45-44. The Miners were 6-for-13 from the charity stripe and 1-for-12 from the field in the fourth, while the Thunder hit 6-for-11 from the floor, including two 3-point shots.
“We missed a lot of dinkers,” Nevada Union coach John McDaniel said. “That’s not going to cut it (shooting 40 percent from the foul line).”
Colomb did have a chance to ice the game, she was at the line with eight seconds to play, shooting two free throws. But both were missed, Rocklin rebounded and dribbled 85 feet but failed to get a shot off.
Colomb’s 3-point shot was set up by an assist from Jennie Carroll, who finished as the team’s leading scorer with 12 points.
“Carroll has played well,” McDaniel said. “She had her best game at Rocklin and she followed it up here against them tonight.”
It looked as though Milhous, who scored five of her nine points in the third for NU, was going to put Rocklin away in the period, but Tori Johnson hit three 3-pointers to keep her team close.
“Johnson hit a lot of threes,” Mc Daniel said. “Anytime you are banking threes, it is your night to score.”
The Miners did force 27 Rocklin turnovers and the Thunder shot 16-for-42 from the floor.
“Since league started we have changed focus,” McDaniel said. “We want to hold teams under 40 points … Lindsey DeMatteis gave her person fits. She is a pest. She played excellent defense.”
Nevada Union (13-10 overall , 6-3 SFL) came into the contest on a three-game win streak, while Rocklin (9-14, 3-7) walked into Ali Gymnasium winning two consecutive games. In a contest between the league’s two hottest teams, something had to give.
The power ratings came out Tuesday and the NU girls basketball team moved down up one place to 14th, from where the Lady Miners stood a week ago. NU’s playoff bid is in its own hands, while Rocklin came into the contest in 17th and will need some help.
“One more win will do it,” Rocklin coach Paul Thompkins said. “The league is tough.”
NU will finish the season playing at Del Oro (19-4, 8-0) Thursday, home against Woodcreek (16-7, 5-3) and at Oakmont (11-13, 1-8). If things go their way, the Lady Miners could very well end up as 2009-10 Sierra Foothill League runner-up.
“I think we can beat both teams,” Colomb said. “But especially Woodcreek. We were up by 11 almost the whole game (earlier this season) and they hit one right at the end to win.”
Scott P. Hopper is a sports writer for The Union. Contact him via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 477-4231.
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It’s just good to be back playing.