Lady Miners seek revenge at Classic
Last year’s Lady Miner Rotary Classic basketball tournament didn’t end in quite the way host Nevada Union had hoped.
The Navy and Blue made it all the way the championship game, and things looked good as the hosts led by 14 points with a couple minutes left in the third quarter.
Folsom, on the back of all-universe guard Jenn Hall, fought back to tie the game with under a minute left in regulation. NU misfired on its final possession as the visitors set up for one last shot.
NU’s defense had Hall sewn up, so the Lady Bulldogs rolled the dice and went to forward Lisa Padgett down low.
The freshman drained the biggest shot of her short varsity career with 10 seconds left to lift her team to a 63-61 win.
NU got some payback with a blowout win over the very same Lady Bulldogs four days later, but the damage was done.
“Folsom played a great game against us last year. To this day, they’re proud of the fact they’re the defending champs (of our tournament),” said NU head coach Craig Strohm. “Yeah, we got some revenge, but the fact is they’re wearing the crown of the Lady Miner Rotary Classic.”
NU will get its chance to bring the tournament trophy back home when the 9th Annual Lady Miner Rotary Classic tips off Thursday.
Folsom – along with 2002 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I runner-up Laguna Creek, Elk Grove, Ceres, Beyer (Modesto), Foothill (Pleasanton) and Deer Valley (Antioch) – will make up the field, which Strohm calls one of the tournament’s toughest ever.
“We used to have a great tournament with a lot of local interest because we had teams like Bear River and Colfax. But when this whole power rating thing came in, we converted it over to a big school, Division I tournament,” he said.
“For a while there, we had some great balance; there were no weak sisters. Then for a couple of years, a lot of teams were changing their schedules around and we had some weaker teams get in. But this year we’re back to being genuinely solid from to top to bottom,” he said.
Games for the three-day tournament begin at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, with NU taking the court against Deer Valley at 8 p.m.
The championship game is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Strohm said that while his squad – which has won six of the nine tournament titles, its last in 2000 – enters the tournament chock full of underclassmen, he doesn’t expect the other teams to ease up.
“Because of the reputation our program has built over the years, team’s come out and want to beat us. We found that out last Friday night when Yuba City beat us. They hadn’t beaten us in, like, six years and they celebrated like it was the section championship,” Strohm said.
“As young as we are, it’s going to be interesting to see where we fit in this mix,” he added.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
New season. New co-head coaches. Same expectations.