IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Civil War hoops; playoff stay for Raiders short lived
NEVADA UNION’S SWEEP: In the main event at the Nevada Union/Bear River Civil War basketball games, the NU boys hold the Bruins to five first quarter points. Jack Fraser notches 12 of his 22 points in the third quarter. Miners win 59-41. Girls varsity is another win for NU at 75-58. Great crowd on a stormy Saturday night. Entertaining show by all teams and a night of positive basketball.
UNCIVIL WAR: The Kings play an excellent first half against the Golden State Warriors. They lead 58-51 at the break. The problem is that it is a 48 minute game. The third quarter finds the Warriors outscoring the Kings 39-22 to take a 90-80 lead. It includes a 23-3 run by Golden State. DeMarcus Cousins scores 17, but has seven of the King’s 18 turnovers. It is a 66 point second half for the Warriors and they prevail 117-106. Yes, Cousins also picked up a technical foul when he beat the tar out of a defenseless sideline seat.
RAIDERS MAKE POOR SHOWING: As Boz Scaggs sang, “It’s over, it’s over now.” They do not hit 100 yards of offense until more than 3 minutes into the fourth quarter. Connor Cook is relatively ineffective with 18-for-45 passing and a mere 161 yards. The run game sputters with a combined 64 yards. Penalties kill the Raiders drives. It is a D+ performance in Houston as the Texans take it 27-14.
HO-HUM WEEK ONE: The average margin of victory in the NFL’s Wild Card Week is more than 16 points as the Houston Texans (27-14), Seattle Seahawks (26-6), Pittsburgh Steelers (30-12) and Green Bay Packers (38-13) all move on to week 2. MVP of the week? Aaron Rodgers of the Packers who defies the frigid Green Bay weather to go 23-for-44 with 299 yards. Wake me from my slumber. This should be a brilliant weekend.
AS IF IT WEREN’T TOUGH ENOUGH: Green Bay vs. Dallas figures to be a provocative match up Sunday. However, Rodgers and company will, in all likelihood, do it without receiver Jordy Nelson. Giants safety Leon Hall tattoos Nelson in the ribs and breaks at least two of them. Big blow for the Packers. This is a difference-maker. The Pack may still win, but the odds just got longer.
CLEMSON NCAA FOOTBALL CHAMPS: Clemson forgets to read that Alabama is invincible. They take the National Championships by a dramatic 35-31 score with a TD with :01 to play Monday night. Clemson Coach Dabo Sweeney gets it done and quips, “…this program is built to last.” Quarterback Deshaun Watson completes 36-of-56 passes for an awesome 420 yards and three touchdowns. Final statement from Sweeney acclaims, “He’s the best player that has ever come through there. He set the standard.” Masterful, exciting contest.
BERMAN TO STEP BACK: Could it be that he enjoys his home in Maui just too much? The face of ESPN since 1979, Chris Berman is cutting back. He will do radio for baseball playoffs and continue in his role in NFL games, but his winter work regimen will be reduced. As friendly off the air as he is on, the network and he decide that Berman will only do the gigs he enjoys. BONUS POINTS: who can tell me what ESPN stands for?
STRANGE, BUT TRUE: The Sacramento Kings reward DeMarcus Cousins with a 5-year, $207 million deal. His game on the court is impressive. His conduct in getting there is ever-so-suspect. In the moment, one must wonder what is going through the Kings’ minds. Is his behavior the worst in the league? Can he be trusted away from the court? Did the fact that he shares the lead for technical fouls this season influence the decision? Is it just a case of “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead.”
SHARKS ENJOY POSITIVE WEEK: Yes, they only go 2-1, but the conquest in Edmonton Tuesday night is noteworthy. Finally, forward Mikkel Boedker makes an impact with three goals and a hat trick in the pivotal contest. In the tough Pacific Division, the Sharks find a way to stay on top. It is good, exciting hockey in which goaltender Martin Jones continues to backstop San Jose’s overall game. He is the MVP thus far halfway through the season.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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EL DORADO — Nevada Union’s up and down season continued Friday night as the Miners struggled mightily in a 41-7 loss to the Union Mine Diamondbacks.