Nice finish – Miners overcome slow start to beat Hiram Johnson |

Nice finish – Miners overcome slow start to beat Hiram Johnson

Technically, it might not have been exactly how Craig Strohm had hoped his Miners would open league play, but Nevada Union’s varsity girls basketball coach will take the end result: a 1-0 start in the Metro Conference.

Nevada Union (11-3 overall) struggled early, but finished strong enough to send Hiram Johnson (Sacramento) back down Highway 49 on the heels of a 56-43 defeat.

“We’re trying to win the Metro. We’re not trying to paint a masterpiece,” Strohm said. “We’re trying to win a championship and they’re not all going to be things of beauty. Even I understand that.”

NU led 9-8 after the first quarter of play, but fell behind 13-9 after Johnson’s Chantel Mack buried a 3-pointer and Samantha Younger scored inside with 6:23 to go in the first half.

That’s when the Miners came to life – and it was a senior who provided the needed spark.

Ali Parrott, a 5-foot, 9-inch small forward, scored 10 points in the second quarter, including seven of NU’s final 10 in the half to push the Miners ahead 25-20 at halftime.

Parrott finished the night with a game-high 20 points.

“(Strohm) has told us to always be moving around and we weren’t doing that too well in the beginning,” Parrott said. “But it started working at the end.”

The Miners opened the third quarter with a 12-5 run that essentially provided all cushion they would need. Parrott picked up two buckets in the run, while senior point guard Kayleigh Correll helped set the Miners up inside with dishes to sophomore Heather Gore and junior Ali Daley in the post. Correll’s drive to the bucket with 4:40 to go in the third handed the Miners a 37-25 lead.

“In the second half, we played a lot better,” Strohm said. “If I was scouting us, I’d say we were a difficult team to defend, because it’s someone different every night.

“Tonight it was Ali Parrott who kept us going, even though some of our other people struggled with it.”

Correll had nine points, eight assists and three steals in the win. Gore scored nine points, while Daley and senior Emma Kite each added seven. Senior forward Molly Compton grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, while Kite added seven more.

Johnson (4-10, 0-2) was led by Brittany Taylor’s 14 points, while Younger and Shameka McQueen each added 12 for the Warriors.

Strohm said if his Miners are to build upon the win, their approach to upcoming practices will be the key. The Miners host McClatchy (11-3, 0-1) on Tuesday, followed by a road trip to defending Metro champion Kennedy (13-3, 1-0) next Thursday.

“If we’re going to be successful in this league, we’re going to have to continue to come to practice at this time of year with a purpose,” Strohm said. “You have to continue to get better. And I think that message was real strong right there tonight.”

NU JV wins big

Nevada Union’s junior varsity girls basketball team downed visiting Johnson 69-17 Thursday.

The Miners (10-4 overall, 1-0 Metro) were led by Kai Ling Clark’s 28 points. Sandy Gutierrez and Kacey Rogers each added eight points in the win.

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