Metro misstep – Loss costs Miners chance to wrap up Metro Conference
With two minutes and 41 seconds remaining in the game, a game in which Nevada Union could have claimed sole possession of the Metro Conference Championship, NU took a timeout.
The majority of the Nevada Union faithful gathered inside Ali Gymnasium Wednesday, however, could sense that the game had already slipped out of the Miners’ reach.
Senior forward Brennan McFadden shuffled toward the huddle, staring at the floor, shaking his head. A few steps later, he looked up at the scoreboard that read 62-48 in favor of Kennedy.
McFadden grimaced, tugged at his shirt and put his hands on his headband, knowing it would take a minor miracle for his team to get back into the game.
Not only was it Senior Night at NU, but it was also a chance for McFadden and his mates to win an outright league championship. The Miners had settled for a co-championship the past two seasons and this year McFadden wanted to change that.
In the end, the Miners (13-13 overall, 8-3 Metro) lost to the Cougars by a 75-60 count.
“We didn’t want a co-championship, but they (Kennedy) played well and better than us tonight,” McFadden said. “Now we need to go to Yuba City (Friday) and take care of business.”
The first quarter began as a back-and-forth struggle, but the Cougars (14-11, 8-3) were able to distance themselves from the Miners at the end of the quarter going up 16-11. From that point on, Kennedy continued to add points here and there and end any sort of momentum the Miners could muster. Each time the Miners looked to be gaining ground, the Cougars answered with a three-pointer or one of their numerous dunks to put the game solidly back in their favor.
“We really tried to run the ball and stay up in their faces on defense,” Kennedy coach Lance Corgiat said. “They like to run their half-court sets and we wanted to push the ball as much as possible. And if we could get the score near 70, then we felt we had a good chance of winning.”
The Miners came as close as eight points in the fourth quarter, down 56-48, but the Cougars answered with two consecutive three-pointers to ice to the win.
“We repeatedly gave up penetration and usually we do a good job at helping so that surprised me,” Nevada Union coach Jeff Dellis said. “They also tattooed the glass, especially the offensive rebounds.”
Junior guard Tyler Smith led the Miners with 22 points while McFadden totaled 17 points. Kennedy’s senior guard, Tyree Brown, scored a game-high 24 points.
“Right now I’m more concerned with playoffs than with the league championship,” Dellis said. “We were ranked No. 14 going into this week and there is still a chance that if we beat Yuba City, a team below us in the rankings may pass us because of our weak conference.”
The Miners meet the Honkers (9-15, 3-7) on Yuba City’s home floor at 7 p.m. Friday.
Kennedy-Nevada Union Box score
Kennedy 16 18 13 28 – 75
Nevada Union 11 12 13 24 – 60
Hironaka 2 5-6 10, Johnson 6 0-0 15, T. Brown 10 2-2 24, Graves 5 2-6 12, H. Brown 2 0-0 5, Arterberry 3 0-0 7, Kubo 1 0-0 2, McFadden 0 0-2 0. Totals: 29 9-16 75.
Nevada Union (60)
Latimer 0 0-0 0, Smith 8 5-9 22, Vogel 0 0-0 0, Edwards 0 2-2 2, McFadden 8 1-1 17, Kerksieck 2 0-0 4, Nelson 2 0-0 6, Brindley 4 1-2 9, Green 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 9-14 60.
Three-point goals – Johnson 3, Nelson, T. Brown 2, Smith, Hironaka, H. Brown, Arterberry 1. Technical Fouls -T. Brown and Graves. Flagrant Foul – Brindley. Total Fouls – 33.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.