PREP BASKETBALL: Girls teams from Nevada Union, Bear River, FLC all earn league wins as playoffs near
It was hard-fought, physical and a bit chippy, but in the end Nevada Union’s girls basketball team came away with a home victory over Foothill Valley League foe Oakmont.
“I liked that we were able to fight through missing layups and free throws and still be able to keep our composure down the stretch,” said NU head coach Jenn Krill after her team’s 54-43 victory Tuesday night. “It’s hard when people are taking shots at you, to keep that mental composure, and I thought we did a good job with that.”
After jumping out to a 17-10 first quarter lead, the Lady Miners struggled in the second frame and went into halftime tied 24-24. NU pulled ahead in the third, going on a 9-3 in the final four minutes of the quarter and taking a 39-31 advantage into the fourth. NU kept the pressure on in the fourth, extending its lead to 11 and holding off any late rally attempts by the Vikings.
Leading the Lady Miners was junior guard Aijah King, who scored a game-high 22 points, 10 which came in the third quarter.
“We go as Aijah goes,” said Krill. “Aijah has phenomenal quickness and speed, she can handle the rock, she’s an unbelievable finisher at the rim and she can dime.”
NU junior guard Kia Costanza followed with 11 points, including a clutch 3-pointer in the fourth quarter that put the Lady Miners ahead 50-40 with just 2 minutes left to play.
Senior post player Emerson Dunbar chipped in eight points and was strong on the boards.
The Lady Miners (14-11, 4-3 FVL) currently sit in third place in the league standings behind first place Placer (21-2, 7-0 FVL) and second place Lincoln (22-3, 6-1 FVL).
Nevada Union has just three games left, facing Ponderosa (Thursday), Lincoln (next Tuesday) and Rio Linda (Feb. 13). The Lady Miners beat Ponderosa, 54-34, the first time they met, and took their first game with Rio Linda, 52-25. NU struggled at Lincoln the first time around and fell, 55-37.
The Lady Miners, who have reached the postseason the last three years, can clinch an automatic playoff bid as one of the top three FVL teams with a win over Ponderosa. The Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs tip off Feb. 17.
Forest Lake Christian 55,
The Lady Falcons took big step toward their third straight Central Valley California League title after knocking off Foresthill Tuesday night on the road.
Forest Lake Christian took a 12-7 lead after one quarter and held a 27-18 advantage at halftime. The Lady Falcons soared down the stretch, outscoring the Wildfires 28-8 across the final two quarters.
Senior guards Amber Jackson and Ali McDaniel led the way for FLC. Jackson scored a game-high 27 points, grabbed six steals and five rebounds. For Jackson, who is averaging 21.6 points per game this season, it was her 13th game with 20-plus points.
McDaniel notched a triple-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals. She also nabbed nine steals in the win. For the season, McDaniel is averaging 14.5 points per game, 7.7 rebounds, 5.8 steals and five assists.
Senior post player Jessi Dreschler chipped in with four points, nine rebounds and three steals. And, junior Ellie Wood was a standout on defense, holding Foresthill’s top offensive player to just one field goal.
The Lady Falcons (18-5, 8-1 CVCL) are perched atop the league standings, and have a critical game against second place Futures (13-5, 6-2 CVCL) on Friday. Futures beat FLC, 41-40, in Sacramento the first time the teams met.
There are currently four teams vying for the CVCL’s three automatic playoff spots. FLC, Futures, Foresthill (10-9, 7-3 CVCL) and Sacramento Waldorf (10-11, 6-3 CVCL) are all in the mix with just a handful of games left.
Bear River 36, Marysville 23
The Lady Bruins made it four straight wins in Pioneer Valley League play after topping Marysville at home Tuesday night.
Bear River fell behind 11-6 after one quarter, but outscored Marysville 15-2 in the second quarter to charge ahead. The Lady Bruins allowed just 10 second half points as they avenged a loss to Marysville earlier this season.
With the win, Bear River is now 13-5 overall and 5-2 in league play. They are currently in second place behind Colfax (21-4, 7-0).
The Lady Bruins have three league games left, facing Colfax on Friday, Center (7-14, 4-3 PVL) on Tuesday and Lindhurst (7-13, 2-5 PVL) Feb. 14.
The top three teams from the PVL earn an automatic playoff bid.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4232.
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