Miners end Grant drought
SACRAMENTO – The Nevada Union boys basketball team didn’t just win at Grant Tuesday night; it made history in the process. With a 75-56 win, the Miners celebrated on the Pacers’ court for the first time since 1992.
And the 1992 win came after the game was called in the third quarter after a Grant player broke the basket while attempting a dunk. The Miners were ahead by 18 points at the time and the game was never made up giving Nevada Union the win. Thus making the last time Nevada Union won at Grant in a full-length game 1989.
“It never ever changes (at Grant) Ð it’s a chaotic atmosphere up here,” Nevada Union boys basketball coach Jeff Dellis said. “You never feel like a lead is safe, the floor is slippery and it’s hard not to get caught up in the chaos. I thought the kids did a good job playing through it.”
Chaotic was an accurate way to describe the environment, especially considering the more-than-healthy rivalry the two teams have with one another. By the end of the first half, the officials called two technical fouls and one intentional foul. A lengthy debate regarding the number of timeouts Grant possessed erupted in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
And just as the previous time the teams met this season, when Nevada Union won 66-52 at home, the game featured physical play – especially in the lane.
The Pacers led the game for only 28 seconds, after scoring the first basket. A Jared Vogel jumper tied the two teams and from that point on the Miners never trailed.
But the game did remain close throughout the first half, minus a few runs by both teams here and there. The Miners’ biggest lead of the half came at 30-20 just minutes into the second quarter, but the Pacers went on a 10-2 run to pull within two.
Nevada Union went into the second half with a 39-32 lead. Tyler Smith gutted out two tough baskets early in the second half with Vogel nailing a runner and Kevin Nelson connecting from behind the arc to push the lead to 48-35.
The Miners consistently stayed ahead by at least 10 points through the third quarter, with the lead ballooning to nearly 20 points by game’s end.
Carrying 80 percent of the Miners scoring load were Smith, Vogel and Nelson.
Smith finished with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds and did the majority of the Miners’ dirty work in the paint by fighting for rebounds and taking the ball hard to the hole.
Nelson, meanwhile, attacked from the perimeter with 21 points, five assists and three rebounds and totaled four 3-pointers. Vogel, scoring mainly on mid-range jumpers and tough leaners, finished with 16 points.
“It was tough to finish on the inside,” Nelson admitted. “I tried to stroke shots more from the outside.”
Senior guard David Weberg was key in setting his teammates up, totaling eight assists, and Travis Edwards and Zach Spencer totaled six and four rebounds, respectively.
After the game, Grant coach Dennis Weaver was visibly frustrated.
“The officiating was terrible,” Weaver said. “We’re the only home team that it doesn’t matter if we’re the home or away team – we’re still not going to get the calls.”
Grant was whistled for 25 fouls compared to Nevada Union’s 11. Weaver did not deny that his team does foul in connection to its physical play, but rather questioned the balance of the calls being made.
With the loss Grant dropped to 9-16 overall and 4-6 in the Metro.
The Miners (18-7, 8-1) travel to McClatchy at 7 p.m. Thursday.
JV: Nevada Union 61, Grant 46
The Nevada Union junior varsity team posted a thrilling comeback win at Grant, winning by a final score of 61-46.
Trailing by six points going into the fourth quarter, after being down by double-digits multiple times in the half, freshman John Wivholm erupted offensively to lead his team to the winning side of the score. He finished with 20 points.
“John really put us on his shoulders and carried us down the stretch,” said Nevada Union coach Dale Latimer who enjoyed his 200th career coaching win last week against Johnson.
“We did not take care of the ball well early in the game or execute our offense, but defensively we were hanging in there.”
Nick Cancilla added 14 points and Time Conde finished with nine points, with the Miners shooting 17-of-19 from behind the free throw line.
Frosh: Grant 68, Nevada Union 67
The Nevada Union freshman team suffered a one-point loss, with Grant coming out on top 68-67.
Nevada Union’s Kennen Morris, however, scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the loss playing what Nevada Union coach Gene Smith referred to as a “monster game.”
Mark Kendall and Dustin Sutton added 12 points each.
“I really proud of how well the kids played, especially the high level of basketball in the second half,” Smith said. “It’s a tough environment to play as a freshman and they ran the half court offense as good as they have all season.
The Miners are now 12-12, 5-5.
NEVADA UNION 75, GRANT 56
NU 21 18 24 12 – 75
G 18 14 21 3 – 56
NEVADA UNION (75): Nate Newport 0 0-0 0, James Brindley 1 4-6 6, Tyler Smith 10 1-4 23, Brian Jackson 0 0-0 0, Chad Mason 0 2-4 2, Jared Vogel 6 3-3 16, Travis Edwards 0 2-2 2, David Weberg 2 0-1 5, Kevin Nelson 7 3-6 21, Joey Puleo 0 0-0 0, Zach Spencer 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 15-26 75.
GRANT (56): Nathan Jones 0 0-0 0, Renald Power 2 0-0 6, Montrey Davis 3 2-3 9, Michael Bolden 0 0-0 0, C.J. Basped 1 0-0 3, Tari Ransom 1 0-0 2, Ronald Richardson 3 1-4 7, Saajid Polite 4 1-2 9, Anthony Henderson 1 1-2 3, Deandrai Mullen 1 0-0 2, Kevin Daniel, Jr. 2 2-2 7, Charles Lowe 2 1-4 5, Stephen Goins 1 0-0 3. Totals 21 8-17 56.
Fouled out: None. Total fouls: NU 11, G 25. Technical fouls: (Grant) Charles Lowe, (Nevada Union) Jeff Dellis.
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
New season. New co-head coaches. Same expectations.