Miners’ skid hits 5 in a row | TheUnion.com

Miners’ skid hits 5 in a row

In what turned into a 3-point shooting contest at Albert Ali Gymnasium Wednesday night, Woodcreek outlasted Nevada Union, 58-50, to hand the Miners their fifth straight Sierra Foothill League loss.

“They had multiple guys get hot,” NU head coach Jeff Dellis said. “Leyva (James) hit some shots, Tyler (Milani) hit some shots, Noah (Blackwell) hit some shots. I don’t know how many 3s they ended up with, but it was an impressive 3-point shooting night for them.”

The Timberwolves (12-11, 3-3 SFL) sank 10 shots from downtown, led by Milani’s five, to Nevada Union’s seven.

“We didn’t defend them any different,” Dellis said. “Defensively, I thought we did an OK job. We are struggling to put points on the board.”

NU (8-15, 1-5 SFL) struggled to get things going early, scoring only 23 points in the first half as Woodcreek’s sagging zone defense neutralized the Miners’ big man, Lucas Vojak.

The Timberwolves held the 6-foot, 8-inch post to 10 points and five rebounds on the night.

NU’s Elliot Fournier stepped up and was a bright spot off the bench, scoring eight of his 10 points in the first half to keep things close as the Miners headed into the break trailing 28-23.

In the third, NU pulled to within three points, but a Milani 3-pointer at the horn gave Woodcreek a six-point edge heading into the fourth.

The Miners got hot in the final quarter, hitting four from beyond the arc, but Woodcreek matched them every step of the way with four of its own and a pair of free throws at the end to ice it.

In the loss, Dellis pointed out that senior point guard Sean Zuccaro had an exceptional game covering Woodcreek’s explosive point guard, Blackwell.

“Sean kept Noah in front of him all night,” Dellis said. “Noah never went by Sean. Sean hasn’t grown since he was 6, and he’s played out of position his whole life because he’s been more athletic and bigger than every body, and these last two years he’s had to develop a set of skills that takes people a career to learn, and yet he has stepped up and become a play-maker.”

Zuccaro finished with four points, five assists and six rebounds on the night and held Blackwell to 13 points.

NU’s senior captain Cody Gardner closed the night with seven points and eight rebounds, Mickel led the team with 12 points with four 3-pointers, and Nolan Stefani sank a pair of 3s to finish with six points.

The Miners will look to end their five-game skid Friday when they travel to Rocklin.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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