Piece of the pie – Underclassmen help Miners get share of Metro
Apparently someone forgot to tell freshmen Caroline Reeves and Sarah McAtee that they should have been nervous playing for a Metro Conference Championship and should have had a hard time keeping their composure.
Despite their disadvantage in age, the two freshmen and their Nevada Union teammates played a relentless and aggressive game Thursday to beat Yuba City 42-37 for a share of the Metro Conference title.
With 37.1 seconds remaining in the game, the Miners were up 38-36 and Reeves stepped to the line for two free throws. Her hands remained steady, her eyes never left the basket and she calmly nailed both free throws.
Thirty seconds later, with the Miners leading 40-37, junior Heather Gore scrapped under the basket to come up with one of her 15 rebounds, but found herself surrounded by Yuba City players with no way out. In a split second, Reeves jumped in front of a referee screaming for time-out to retain possession of the ball and essentially the game.
“For a freshman to have that kind of composure, that says a lot for the kid … it was amazing,” Yuba City coach Tom Zaragoza said.
Reeves led the Miners (17-10 overall, 10-2 Metro) with 11 points, while McAtee chipped in with nine points. The Honkers fall to 20-5 overall and 10-2 in the Metro.
However, it wasn’t just the play of the freshmen that won the game. Nevada Union’s upperclassmen did their share of the heavy lifting as well.
“The defensive pressure Nevada Union had on us really took us out of our game plan,” Zaragoza said. “What Duwaine did with this group of kids was amazing and he really is an outstanding coach.”
Gore, who looks to be the Metro Conference scoring leader this season, scored nine points in addition to her 15 rebounds.
“I think the unsung hero of the night was Sarah Nunnink who had to play a lot of minutes tonight with Malone out,” Nevada Union coach Duwaine Ganskie said. “She had a great game defensively and was guarding a bigger player all night. She did the kind of things that don’t really show up in the box score.”
Malone, one of the team’s most talented players and a captain, was unable to play after breaking her hand in the Miners 34-31 win against McClatchy Feb. 10th.
“Winning the Metro was one of our goals before the season, but we were shaken a bit with some bad breaks the first time through the league schedule,” Ganskie said. “And then losing Malone, the task seemed almost insurmountable, but the kids really stepped up. I can’t credit them enough.”
The Miners find out on Sunday their seed and opponent in the state basketball playoffs.
Prep Box Score
Yuba City-Nevada Union Box score
Yuba City 6 7 10 14 – 37
Nevada Union 13 5 12 12 – 42
Yuba City (37)
Kuehner 6 1-2 13, Barlow 3 5-6 9, Lowden 0 2-2 2, Pollak 1 3-3 5, Jensen 0 0-0 0, Takhar 1 0-0 2, Bains 2 2-2 6, Snyder 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 13-15 37.
Nevada Union (42)
Daley 3 0-0 6, McAtee 3 3-3 9, Reeves 2 5-6 11, Nunnink 2 0-0 5, Purkey 0 0-0 0, Gore 3 2-4 9, Gutierrez 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 10-13 42.
Three-point goals – Nunnink, Gore1. Technical Foul – Bains.
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