NU comes up big down the stretch |

NU comes up big down the stretch

Mae Valdes was, for all intents and purposes, contained.

The Nevada Union guard had made the Lady Miners first basket of Tuesday night’s showdown with top-ranked St. Francis, only to be held scoreless.

Until it mattered the most.

Valdes fired in a three-point shot from the top of the circle with 12 seconds left to give NU a three-point lead en route to a 48-47 victory over St. Francis at St. Francis High School.

Valdes’ shot, which followed key free throws by Molly Heck and Nicole Sheets (team-high 13 points), capped an NU rally from an 11-point third quarter deficit.

With the victory, NU (17-2 overall, 3-0 Metro League) grabs sole possession of the Metro League heading into another big match-up with second-ranked Kennedy at Kennedy High School.

“The kids never gave up,” NU coach Craig Strohm said. “The characteristics of good teams is that you maintain your grit. The more experience we gain in that area, the more it makes us legit.”

Sheets had three-three-pointers Tuesday. Kayleigh Correll added 11 points.

The Miners, who had recently had some struggles from the free throw line, made 9-of-11 against St. Francis.

Strohm said Ronnie Ellis also made key baskets as part of the fourth-quarter rally.

Valdes’ game-winner came off a timeout.

“I’d like to bottle that moment, because that was a big smile she had,” Strohm said.

Rocklin doles out loss to Bruins

Dean Wibbenhorst scored a team-high 13, including 5-for-5 from the free throw line and Keith Marin chipped in nine points in the Bear River boys basketball team’s 87-56 loss at Rocklin Tuesday.

“We had a terrible night shooting,” Marin said.

Bear River (6-10 overall, 1-4 Sierra Foothill League) will host Oakmont of Roseville Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

FLC girls get win

Jaime Laughlin scored a team-high 11 points and Braeden Huusfeldt snagged 10 rebounds as the Forest Lake Christian beat host Woodland Christian 48-39 Tuesday.

The win, FLC’s 13th straight, inproved the defending Central Valley Christian League co-champions’ overall record to 15-1 and 5-0 in league.

“It was ugly. Woodland plays in that old warehouse on the portable floors. It was cold and the lighting was bad. It was something out of the ‘Hoosiers’ movie,” FLC head coach Rob Hodges said. “It was just one of those nights where we did just enough to win.”

Huusfeldt and Saschi Botner finished with eight points each.

Chrysten Cotney chipped in six points for the Forest Lake girls.

FLC will host Sacramento Country Day Friday at 6:30 p.m.

FLC boys roll up hoops victory

James Belch and Taylor Lawrence combined for 29 points in the Forest Lake Christian boys basketball team’s 72-57 win over visiting Woodland Christian on Tuesday.

Belch had three three-pointers in his team-high 15 points. Lawrence did his damage from short range, with a team-high five field goals and 14 points.

“Taylor has had his best games of the season in out last three games,” FLC head coach Davin Johnson said.

FLC (12-7 overall, 4-1 Central Valley Christian League) trailed 8-0 to start the game, but fought its way back thanks to spot on three-point shooting.

“We shot 55 percent from three point land. That was better than out free throw percentage,” Johnson added.

Sam Koopmans connected from downtown three times to finish with 11 points.

Colin Harman chipped in 10 points. Max Botner finished with 9 points in the win.

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