On the Edge
The Nevada Union boys basketball team was living dangerously in its homecourt Metro Conference matchup with C.K. McClatchy (Sacramento) Tuesday.
The Miners, who led by 14 points after three periods of play, gave up a 24-point fourth quarter but held on for a 56-52 win.
“We played well the first half. That was probably the best half we’ve played all season. The big guys were getting the ball down low and the guards were all shooting well,” NU senior forward Chad Smith said. “It was in the fourth quarter when they started pressing us when we got in trouble.”
Smith totaled six points, four rebounds and a pair of steals.
NU, which improved to 5-12 overall, and 2-0 in the Metro, looked to have the game in the bag late, leading 42-28 going into the final stanza.
Joey Bratton, who finished with seven points in the win, hit a 3-pointer from the top just 19 seconds in, giving the hosts their biggest lead of the game at 45-28.
C.K. McClatchy (7-10, 1-2), on the inside play of center Greg Reed and Troy Graves, and Matt Curry’s outside shooting, clawed its way back into the game with an 18-6 run.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” Miner head coach Jeff Dellis said. “Your team will get one, then the other team has theirs.”
Jon Sheets, who led all scorers with 20 points, hit the front end of a one-and-one with one minute, 50 seconds left to give the hosts a six-point lead.
Sheets finished with three rebounds and a team-high seven assists.
Graves then sparked a 6-2 run with a lay up in transition to cut the lead to 54-52 with :16 left in regulation.
With under five seconds left, Sheets got the ball on the inbounds play, then was immediately fouled.
The senior sank both free throws to slam the door on any comeback hopes .
“That was the best 24 minutes of basketball we’ve put together all year,” Dellis said. “Now, if we can put 32 minutes together like that, we’ll be able to play with (the top teams in the area).”
Gary Daley finished with 10 points, five assists, four steals and a blocked shot in the win.
Jarad Van Matre, who finished with six points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
In the junior varsity game, Chad Futer drained four straight free throws down the stretch to lead NU to a 53-51 win.
NU’s freshmen also won, 64-56.
The Miners will play at John F. Kennedy 7 p.m. Thursday.
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