Miners have tough challenge to face | TheUnion.com

Miners have tough challenge to face

Eileen JoyceBear River's Maya Bryant drives in for a solid layup Tuesday. The Bruins sealed up at least a share of SFL title by beating Oakmont.
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Nevada Union’s Lady Miners have not lost back-to-back games this year.

In fact, the Lady Miners tend to play some of their best basketball after a loss.

Exit, St. Francis.

Enter, tonight, top-ranked Kennedy.

If NU is to keep alive its hopes for a share of the Metro League title, they will need to win tonight’s next-to-last league game against Kennedy at Nevada Union High School.

The match-up comes on the heels of a seven-point NU loss to St. Francis Friday. Nearly a month ago, NU knocked off St. Francis on the road, then lost to Kennedy by 20 points two nights later.

In that loss, the Cougars applied a zone and pressure defense to hold the Lady Miners to 28 points.

“Our outside shooting is an important factor,” NU coach Craig Strohm said. “But we also have to take care of the ball against their press, because they are very fast and athletic.”

The Lady Miners consoled themselves after the loss to Kennedy with the knowledge they would have one more shot at the Cougars, this time in front of the home crowd. Friday’s game was played before an overflow crowd at the House of Pain.

“We owe it to ourselves to play good and not miss this opportunity,” sophomore Emma Kite said. “We had a huge crowd (against St. Francis), but that wasn’t going to carry us the whole way. You still actually have to play.”

On Saturday, Kennedy itself got a taste of what it is like to lose by 20. After a strong first quarter, led by sophomore Alisha Hicks, the bottom fell out against powerhouse Marin Catholic.

Hicks, at times a dazzling player, scored 16 against the Lady Miners in January.

“It is not all about Alisha Hicks,” Kite said. “We just need to be a presence on the floor. It needs to look like there is more than five of us out there, because one player can’t make a difference in the game if they have to be all of us.”

The Lady Miners have been stressing the positive in their practices, with hopes that such an attitude will carry with it a strong team performance tonight.

“We’ve lost only four times this season, and each time we’ve come out and absolutely exploded,” said Mackenzie Murphy, who has emerged as a top perimeter threat. “We don’t care about winning so much as we care about playing good. We know if we play good, no one will beat us.”

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