NU takes grudge match
If the rivalry game against Yuba City was a do-or-die game for Nevada Union’s playoff chances, then NU faithful can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Miners live to see another day after beating the Honkers 59-50 Tuesday.
The game featured a spirited back-and-forth battle with the Miners (9-12 overall, 4-2 Metro) never trailing. NU’s largest lead of the night grew to 11 points with the score reading 38-27 in favor of the Miners.
Nevada Union went into halftime with a 27-22 advantage after a fade-away, three-point buzzer beater off the right hand of junior guard Kevin Nelson, giving the Miners even more of an emotional boost than what already existed inside Ali Gymnasium from the rowdy fans assembled.
Three minutes into the fourth quarter the tension hit a high point as several Miners and Honkers (9-11, 3-3) were involved in a physical loose ball scramble in the corner of the floor in front of the Yuba City bench. As the struggle spilled into the stands, apparently a fan on the Yuba City sideline became involved and was ejected by game officials. Apparently, no players were in the wrong doing, as no fouls were whistled after the fray.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Honkers pulled to within six points at 43-37, but then committed two consecutive turnovers that the Miners capitalized on. Yuba City coach Brad McIntire said that after that those two turnovers, he felt the game start to slip away.
Despite never trailing, Nevada Union coach Jeff Dellis admitted to feeling uneasy until the final buzzer sounded.
“With (Yuba City’s) Kevin Cordano on the floor I never felt comfortable,” Dellis said. “In those last five minutes there were so many calls that I think both teams had a hard time getting any rhythm and it felt like the game was moving at a snail’s pace.
Cordano played a stellar game for the Honkers, scoring a game-high 27 points, with 11 of those coming in the final quarter. Six of those 11 points in the fourth quarter came from the free throw line.
“Everything runs through Cordano and he is so good away from the ball,” Dellis said. “I do think, however, that we had relative success in guarding him. He had some really open looks at the beginning of the game, but then Travis Edwards did a nice job causing him to make some turnovers and commit an offensive foul.”
Nelson said after the game that the overall strategy was to make someone other than Cordano beat the Miners, but the Honkers never came up with an answer from anyone else.
NU senior post Brennan McFadden led the Miners with 16 points, while junior guard Tyler Smith and Nelson added 14 and 13 points, respectively.
The Miners travel to the first-place Granite Bay Friday, marking the third time the two teams will have squared off this season with the Miners winning the previous two.
Prep Box Score
Yuba City-Nevada Union Box score
Yuba City 14 8 9 19 – 50
Nevada Union 17 10 14 18 – 59
Yuba City (50)
Cordano 8 7-11 27, Mendoza 0 1-2 1, Chahal 0 0-0 0, Johnson 4 0-0 9, Thomas 1 0-0 2, Haymore 1 0-0 2, Jenkins 0 1-2 1, Fetters 3 2-3 8. Totals: 17 9-15 50.
Nevada Union (59)
Latimer 0 0-0 0, Smith 6 2-5 14, Vogel 1 1-4 3, Edwards 1 4-4 6, McFadden 7 2-4 16, Kerksieck 0 1-2 1, Nelson 5 0-0 13, Brindley 2 2-2 6. Totals: 22 12-21 59.
Three-point goals – Cordano 4, Nelson 3, Johnson 1. Fouled out – Edwards, Fetters. Total Fouls – 38.
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