Even though the outside shots weren’t falling, the Nevada Union boys basketball team found other ways to score and played stellar defense en route to a 64-49 Metro League victory against McClatchy Thursday night in Sacramento.
The Miners took a 32-20 halftime lead and held on to secure a win that improved their league-leading record to 9-1 (19-7 overall). The win was more difficult than the final score showed, according to coach Jeff Dellis.
“They battled us the whole way,” Dellis said. “They’re 14th in the power rankings, so they were battling for their playoff lives.”
Tyler Smith scored 22 points and Kevin Nelson added 17, including the team’s only two 3-pointers of the night.
“Two 3s, that’s well below our average, so we put a lot of emphasis on our slashing game and our mid-range game tonight,” Dellis said.
Defense certainly has a way of helping out when the shots aren’t falling, and in this game, the Miners only allowed five points in the second quarter and 10 in the fourth.
“To hold a team like McClatchy to 49 points is pretty good,” Dellis said. “They have a 6-6 kid (Jamal Thomas) and they pounded the ball inside to him all night. He scored 22, but the good news was, he only had nine in the second half.”
Smith, Zach Spencer and Travis Edwards shared the defensive responsibilities on Thomas through the second half. Their play also helped create defensive opportunities for guard James Brindley.
“James had a couple of steals on the perimeter that went for layups,” Dellis said.
The Miners, who are riding a nine-game win streak, face a championship showdown this coming Tuesday at Kennedy.
JV: McClatchy 59,
Nevada Union 57
Cold shooting against McClatchy’s zone defense led to a narrow defeat for the Miners, who saw their league record drop to 10-2 (14-10 overall).
“We could not get a shot to drop,” coach Dale Latimer said. “Basically, they 2-3 zoned us to death.”
Meanwhile, McClatchy knocked down seven 3-pointers and shot 12-for-16 from the free throw line.
Nick Cancilla scored 14 points, Alex Burnadett 12 and John Wivholm 11 to lead Nevada Union offensively.
Bear River 65, Mesa Verde 60
Chris McIntosh and Devin Grebe knocked down clutch 3-pointers and Jake Kirby came up big all-around to lead Bear River to its Senior Night victory.
McIntosh scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half as the Bruins (12-10 overall, 8-3 league) rallied to clinch second-place in the Pioneer Valley League. Mesa Verde, which came into the game tied for third-place, dropped to 4-6.
Bear River trailed 17-6 after one quarter, but got back to within 28-25 at halftime. The Bruins led 45-43 at the end of three quarters.
With the teams battling back and forth in the fourth quarter, McIntosh hit a pair of 3-pointers and Grebe hit one shot from beyond the arc to help the Bruins put it away. Kirby also hit five free throws in the final quarter, played strong defense and handled the ball against Mesa Verde’s pressure defense, according to assistant coach Steve Box.
“We had some kids step up down the stretch,” Box said.
Kirby finished with 14 points, Grebe 13 and C.J. Crausby 12. All three are seniors, making this win a little bit extra special.
“It was nice to see those kids honored tonight,” Box said. “They’ve put in a lot of time, so it was real gratifying to see them win tonight, especially to see them come back from a big deficit.”
JV: Mesa Verde 55,
Bear River 49
Patrick Scott scored 12 points, while Garrett Barbic and Chad Smith added 11 each to lead the Bruins offensively.
Forest Lake Christian 52, Sacramento Lutheran 31
Adam Reed scored 12 points and Andrew Ritchart 11 to pace a balanced offense that sent the Falcons to a Central Valley Christian League win at Sacramento Lutheran.
“We played a little bit sluggish, but we played good defense and our scoring was balanced,” coach Dave Thomas said, adding that everyone on the team scored at least three points.
Reed and Ritchart also grabbed nine and eight rebounds respectively and 6-foot-8 post Nate Holt played solid interior defense with a half dozen blocked shots.
Forest Lake Christian (15-9, 10-3) plays Faith Christian in Yuba City tonight. The Falcons have won five straight games.
Forest Lake Christian 69, Sacramento Lutheran 12
Six-foot-1 sophomore post Tess Reed scored a career-high 22 points to help the Falcons stroll to an easy league win at Sacramento Lutheran.
MacKenzie Deneen contributed 14 points and nine rebounds, while Kylie Miraldi scored 12 points in just 14 minutes of playing time on a night when Forest Lake Christian (18-4, 10-3) was able to work the ball inside almost at will. Taylor Kilgore dished out 12 assists to go with her eight points.
“The girls were just working the ball inside,” coach Steve Kellar said. “It was just a team effort. We had a lot of kids who were sick and the seven who played all scored.”
Kayla Campora also scored six and Bethany Huusfeldt five for the Falcons.
The Falcons visit Faith Christian tonight and then travel to the Bay Area on Saturday to take on Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton.
Coaches may submit game reports for the Local Roundup by calling The Union at 477-4240.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
New season. New co-head coaches. Same expectations.