Miners lose second straight heading for playoffs
After riding a four-game win streak into first place in the Metro Conference standings, Nevada Union closed out its regular slate with a pair of losses on the road this week.
The Miners, though, had enough cushion in league play for a share of the Metro title.
NU (16-10 overall, 8-4) league fell to host Grant Thursday by a 56-49 count that afforded the Kennedy Cougars (16-10, 8-4) half the league crown.
On Tuesday, NU lost at Yuba City, 56-46, leaving Thursday’s game as the Miners’ last shot at claiming the championship outright.
That task became an uphill climb for NU, which had 30 turnovers in the loss, after a first half that produced just 16 points and a seven-point deficit at the break.
“We only scored 16 in the first half, but that wasn’t from a lack of opportunities,” said NU head coach Jeff Dellis. “We got to the basket a lot. We just didn’t finish.
“We defended well and we ran the offense well in the first half. We just didn’t finish the play.”
The Miners surpassed their first-half offensive output in the third quarter alone, netting 17 points en route to eventually taking a 44-41 lead in the fourth quarter.
Grant (14-13, 6-6), though, had its playoff hopes on the line and its leading scorer, Justin Booker, heeded the call. Booker, who scored 10 of his 15 points in the final quarter, drained a 3-pointer to knot the game at 44-44 with three minutes remaining.
From there it was a back-and-forth affair, until Grant made the most of their free throw attempts down the stretch to seal its second over the Metro co-champs this season.
Nevada Union was led by Brennan McFadden’s 13 points, while Archie Pearson and Tyler Smith each scored nine points.
“I really felt good about our effort,” Dellis said. “I thought the kids played hard.”
NU now awaits word on their first-round matchup of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. The final seedings are to be announced Sunday.
Falcons soccer off to smashing smart
Forest Lake Christian’s varsity soccer team got its season off to a strong start Thursday, defeating Capital Christian 6-1.
Carrie Gueman and Megan Stallings each scored two goals in the win, while Brittney Gilfillan and Emily Boddorf also each scored for the Falcons.
FLC (1-0) travels to Modesto Christian Tuesday.
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EL DORADO — Nevada Union’s up and down season continued Friday night as the Miners struggled mightily in a 41-7 loss to the Union Mine Diamondbacks.