PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Bruins, Lady Falcons ready for challenging playoff bouts
No. 7 Bear River (16-5) at No. 2 Union Mine (26-1), 7 p.m., Thursday at Union Mine High School
No. 1 Forest Lake Christian (18-5) vs. No. 4 Valley Christian (22-5), 7 p.m., Thursday at Forest Lake Christian High School
The Bear River Lady Bruins roared to victory in the first round of the playoffs, putting on a scoring display for the home crowd at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium Tuesday night.
Just a couple miles away, the Forest Lake Christian Lady Falcons soared past their playoff opponent, winning by 38 on Schoellerman Court.
Things get a lot tougher from here on out for the local prep girls basketball teams as they make their way through their respective playoff brackets.
The No. 7 seed Lady Bruins (16-10) will hit the road for a Sac-Joaquin Section D-IV second round matchup, facing the No. 2 seed Union Mine Diamondbacks. Which has won 26-straight games dating back to November.
The No. 1 seed Lady Falcons (19-5) remain at home and welcome the defending Sac-Joaquin Section D-VI champions Valley Christian Lions (22-5).
Despite the tough tasks that await them, both teams are feeling confident as they progress through the postseason.
“They’re a good basketball team and they are really well coached,” Bear River head coach Randy Billingsley said of Union Mine. “They are like Colfax, but bigger. But, I don’t think they are as quick as Colfax, so I actually think we match up well with them. Of the top three teams in the (D-IV) tournament, I’m excited to play them. I think they are a team we can compete with.”
The Lady Bruins definitely have the playmakers to pull off the upset. Bear River boasts a talented and senior-laden lineup.
Leading the Lady Bruins this year has been seniors Katelyn Meylor (16.5 points per game, 4.6 steals per game), Mallory Rath (10.5 ppg, 15.3 rebounds per game) and Kylee Dresbach-Hill (10.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg).
Bear River also gets strong play from seniors Kayla Toft and Karinne McDonald. Sophomore guard Gabbi Correlejo has also proved to be a force for the Lady Bruins.
Standing in front of Bear River is a Union Mine squad led by 6-foot, 1-inch sophomore Alli McDonald (16.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and 6-foot, 2-inch junior Carley Zaragoza (12.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg).
“If we play like we played (Tuesday) night, we can play with anybody,” Billingsley said. “We were shooting the ball very well. It just came together, our zone offense worked well, we got open looks and the girls were knocking it down with confidence.”
The Lady Bruins scored a season-high 78 points in their opening round win over No. 10 Mountain House.
Bear River and Union Mine tipoff at 7 p.m. tonight at Union Mine High School in El Dorado.
Forest Lake Christian is also coming off a big scoring performance, putting up 68 points in their win over El Dorado Adventist Tuesday in the second round of the D-VI playoffs and did so without their second leading scorer and best defender.
The Lady Falcons will be at full strength tonight when they face No. 4 seed Valley Christian with a trip to the D-VI title game on the line.
“It’s going to come down to defense,” FLC head coach Valerie Horner said. “It will come down to holding them. They have good shooters and good players. Our defense and rebounding will be the key for us.”
The Lady Falcons and Lady Lions met up once already this season with FLC pulling out a come-from-behind, 49-44, victory Jan. 4.
FLC is led by senior post player Johnna Dreschler (14.7 ppg, 17.3 rpg) and sophomore guard Amber Jackson (11.3 ppg, 4.6 spg). The Lady Falcons also get strong play from Ellie Wood, Jessi Dreschler and Bella Horner.
Valley Christian is led by a trio of seniors in Marissa Flood (12.8 ppg), Cloe Gunter (11.4 ppg) and Kylie Dillman (11.3 ppg).
The Lady Falcons and Lady Lions are set to tipoff at 7 p.m. tonight at Forest Lake Christian High School.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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