Lady Miners set it on cruise against McClatchy |

Lady Miners set it on cruise against McClatchy

When Sheena Zweigle made a free throw midway through the second quarter, the scoreboard read “Nevada Union 29, McClatchy 2.”

The scoreboard was wrong at the time, but the general impression it gave was not entirely off the mark.

Thursday night, Nevada Union made 14 three-pointers and cruised to a 71-49 victory in its Metro League opener at Nevada Union High School. The victory, after a 12-day holiday break, lifted NU’s record to 15-2 overall, while dropping McClatchy (8-9 overall, 1-2 league) below the .500 mark in both league and overall play.

“It was an exciting win for us,” NU swing player Courtney Kephart said. “We didn’t know what to expect from McClatchy, other than they have an excellent new coach and always have a good team.”

McClatchy came into the House of Pain with a squad lacking in both seniors and height. As the game progressed, it also became apparent they lacked a way to stop NU from dropping in three-pointers as if they were free throws.

NU missed its first two three-point attempts of the evening, but from there on the team was off and gunning. Before the night was over, seven different Miners combined for 14 treys, equaling a season-high.

NU enjoyed balanced scoring on the evening, led by post player MacKenzie Murphy with 14. Nicole Sheets added 13 off the bench, while back court players Mae Valdes (11 points) and Emma Kite (10 points) also made it to double figures.

Murphy also had a team-high four three-pointers Thursday.

“I’m not the shooter on the team, but Sheena Zweigle ended up getting me open a lot,” said Murphy, a front court player. “I don’t feel I made any incredible shots. I was just wide open.”

McClatchy was led by Kimiyo Harada, who slashed her way to 18 points. Lion guard Jessie Kuniasaki added 10.

“(NU) is a talented team,” McClatchy assistant coach Christine Mueller said. “Any team that puts up that many three-pointers, and shoots well is tough to beat.”

NU shredded McClatchy’s first quarter zone in the first quarter, making 4-of-11 three-point attempts. A pair of free throws by Sheets midway through the opening quarter gave NU a 13-2 lead – its first double-digit lead of the game. A put-back by Kite at 1:52 left in the first quarter lifted NU to a 15-4 lead, pushing NU’s lead back into double digits for the second and final time.

Fittingly, the first half ended with a three-pointer by Valdes followed quickly by a buzzer beating basket by Kayleigh Correll that was – you guessed it – a three-pointer, the ninth of the half. Correll’s basket gave NU a 43-20 lead at intermission. The Miners did not lead by less than 20 the rest of the way.

“We worked real hard since winning (the West Coast Jamboree) around Christmas, but we’ve been off since then and it is difficult not facing any competition,” NU coach Craig Strohm said. “McClatchy’s a good team, well coached, so I’m glad we got out of the blocks and played well.”

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