Parilo leads host of Miners in gaining Metro honors
Nevada Union’s boys and girls basketball programs each placed three players on their respective all-Metro League teams, when announced Thursday night.
Senior Tony Parilo, an electrifying forward who averaged 21 points and eight rebounds for the Miners, was named co-Most Valuable Player with Neaman Miller of league champion McClatchy.
Parilo was the Miners’ go-to player who honed his all-around skills as the season progressed, showing he could pass, rebound and steal with as much style as he shot the ball.
“The second half of the year, we won five of six league games, and that is what really made it possible,” NU boys coach Jeff Dellis said. “In the second half of the year, Tony was getting everybody on the floor involved, and that is where his value was so significant.”
Teammate Kelib Thompson was also a first-team selection for the boys team, while junior Jon Sheets earned a nod at honorable mention. Like Parilo, Thompson seemed to get stronger as the season went on. He averaged more than eight rebounds per game, and tossed down 30 points in a league win over Hiram Johnson.
“He sprained his ankle in (a holiday tournament), and was a little tentative early,” Dellis said. “But then he started scoring in double digits for us on a regular basis.”
Sheets a junior, was honored for quarterbacking the basketball team, as he had done for the football team in the fall.
“He gave us toughness and leadership,” Dellis said. “I am absolutely thrilled that he will be back to be our go-to guy next year.”
The Lady Miners, who were co-league champions with Kennedy, had Kayleigh Correll, Mae Valdes and Mackenzie Murphy named first-team Metro League selections. Kennedy, which plays for the state championship Saturday against Linwood, had the league’s MVP with post player Monique Smartt-Kidd.
Girls basketball coach Craig Strohm said that each of the Lady Miner selections for the all-league team showed vast improvement this year, and would make selecting a most improved player a near impossibility this season.
“There is probably, top to bottom, not a kid that couldn’t win most improved of our team,” Strohm said. “We beat the section III champ (St. Francis), and probably the best team in Northern California (Kennedy), and you aren’t going to do that with players that don’t continue to get better.”
Correll, Valdes, and Murphy each made their impact from the wing this season. Correll, a sophomore, led the Miners in scoring in each of their encounters this year with Kennedy, and tied Valdes for the number of times being the team’s leading scorer.
“I think she was recognized as our floor leader,” Strohm said. “When you throw up 25 points against Kennedy, people in the league take notice.”
Seniors Murphy and Valdes brought tenacity to the Lady Miners’ this season. Valdes brought down Bear River and St. Francis with late baskets, while Murphy asserted herself in the final month of league play.
“Mae was a water bug, and sent a number of teams packing,” Strohm said. “Mack is just as tough and competitive as any player I’ve ever had. I am ecstatic to have three selections of the 10 league players selected for honors this year. It is a tough league.”
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The Nevada Union Junior Miners Football and Cheer teams traveled on Saturday to Casa Roble High School in Orangevale to play the Casa Roble Junior Rams in Sacramento Youth Football League action.