NU Miners down Burbank
Thursday night’s 69-60 victory by Nevada Union over Burbank concluded the regular season for the Miners.
Now just one game remains before the playoffs begin – the waiting game.
NU (8-4 Metro League, 18-10 overall) should find out Sunday whether its first-round playoff game will be a home contest or one on the road. Coming into the final weekend of play, the Miners were ninth in the Sac-Joaquin Division I power ratings. The top eight host next week’s first playoff game.
“At this point, it is out of our hands,” NU coach Jeff Dellis said. “We did what we had to do tonight, and now we’ll just have to wait and see.”
At times Thursday, NU struggled with a Burbank team that had won only three Metro League games, despite a 17-9 overall record.
The Miners increased its three-point halftime lead to 10 points in the third quarter, than saw the Titans battle back in the game behind second-chance shots at the basket.
A putback by Burbank’s Vernon Gilliam, a transition hoop by Devon Reed, and a 10-footer by Gilliam sliced NU’s lead to three with 2:21 remaining in the game.
NU’s Tony Parilo responded with six straight points in less than a minute’s time to boost the Miners’ lead to nine. A basket by Jon Sheets off a Kelib Thompson feed and four Sheets free throws in the final 40 seconds put away Burbank for good.
“I knew tonight would be a war,” Dellis said. “Every time we play a Metro League team, the games are tough. We came out a little flat tonight, but finished on a good note.”
Parilo had a team-high 18 points, while Thompson contributed 17 points. Burbank’s Darrin Gadding led all scorers with 22 points.
Burbank kept pace with NU early with strong play on the offensive boards. NU broke free of Burbank’s shadow early in the third quarter, outscoring the Titans 12-2.
Thompson started the run with a free throw, which was followed by a putback by Cole Cooper, a 12-foot baseliner from Parilo, and another close range basket by Cooper. Thompson then completed the second of three, three-point plays he would have on the night.
The run was completed when Parilo fired a dart to Doug Black for a basket to put the Miners ahead 42-32 with less than three minutes to go in the third quarter.
“Burbank loves to bang,” Thompson said. “I have to give a lot of credit to Cole Cooper. He is a workhorse who really helped me handle the inside tonight.”
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.