PREP BASKETBALL: Nevada Union starts to make way in SFL, controls destiny |

PREP BASKETBALL: Nevada Union starts to make way in SFL, controls destiny

Nevada Union's Mario Edwards drives to the basket during a game against Del Oro Wednesday night.
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union

Miners Remaining schedule

at Oak Ridge, 7:30 p.m., today

vs. Granite Bay, 7 p.m., Wednesday

at Folsom, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 5

at Granite Bay, 7 p.m., Feb. 8

vs. Rocklin, 7 p.m., Feb. 10*

at Woodcreek, 7:30 p.m., Feb 16

*Senior night at Albert Ali Gymnasium

Facing a Sierra Foothill League foe it hadn’t beat since 2011, the Nevada Union boys basketball team turned it on when it mattered the most — the fourth quarter.

The Miners (14-7, 3-3 SFL) went on a 14-0 run in the final frame to soar past the Del Oro Golden Eagles, 71-52, and land right in the thick of the playoff race.

“We’re trying to build on our success,” said Nevada Union head coach Jeff Dellis. “At this point we’re on a three-game league winning streak and every game at this point is a new adventure.”

The Miners are indeed enjoying one of their best stretches in league play in a long time, and now sit in fourth place in the SFL standings, ahead of Oak Ridge (13-9, 2-5 SFL), Del Oro (8-13, 2-5 SFL) and Rocklin (8-14, 1-6 SFL).

The SFL is one of two leagues in the Sac-Joaquin Section that gets four automatic bids to the postseason. The other is the Delta League.

As for the key to the Miners’ recent success:

“I think we’ve tightened up our defensive scheme a little bit,” said Dellis. “We’ve also cut down on turnovers, and cut down on giving up offensive rebounds. Those are the things that were integral to our success early on.”

Reigning SFL co-champ Folsom (19-2, 7-0 SFL) currently sits atop the league standings with Woodcreek (14-8, 5-2 SFL) in second and the Granite Bay Grizzlies (16-4, 3-2 SFL) in third, just a half game ahead of Nevada Union.

The Miners have two games scheduled against Granite Bay in the next 11 days, with the first coming Wednesday at Albert Ali Gymnasium and the second coming Feb. 8 in Granite Bay.

So far this season the Miners have victories over Del Oro, Rocklin and last season’s SFL co-champs Woodcreek. NU’s losses have come at the hands of Folsom, Del Oro and Oak Ridge, who topped NU 56-55 in overtime.

The Miners get a chance to avenge that loss to Oak Ridge tonight.

“They are very well coached. They are physical and they are big. But, everything goes through Matt Battaglia,” said Dellis. “He lit us up last time. You can’t stop him, his shot is too quick. But, we need to control him.”

There are still six games left in the regular season, but if the Miners continue to play the way they have they will earn a playoff spot for the first time since 2012.

In the Pioneer Valley League, the Bear River boys have struggled early, going 1-3 in league play, but remain in the playoff hunt. The PVL gets three automatic playoff bids.

The Bruins (10-8, 1-3 PVL) have just one win in the PVL, but their three losses have come by a combined 13 points, and they will get a chance to avenge those losses.

Bear River faces PVL Leader Placer (18-3, 4-0 PVL) for the first time in league play today. The Bruins and Hillmen met earlier this season in the Kendall Arnett Tournament Championship Game. Bear River led for much of the first half, but Placer pulled away late to win 80-61.

In the Central Valley California League, where Forest Lake Christian is the two-time reigning champs, it looks like a new team will take the crown and the Falcons will be fighting to continue their more than a decade long run of making the post season. At 8-12 overall and 2-4 in CVCL play the Falcons are in fifth place in the standings. Sacramento Waldorf, Foresthill and Victory Christian are all tied atop the standings with 4-2 league records. Delta is in fourth place at 3-3 in league play.

In girls hoops, The Lady Falcons (8-9, 3-3 CVCL) are just one game out of third place in the CVCL, behind league leader Sacramento Waldorf (12-5, 6-0 CVCL), Delta (8-8, 5-2 CVCL), and Victory Christian (12-5, 4-2 CVCL).

The Lady Bruins (13-7, 2-2 PVL) are in the mix in the PVL, sitting in a tie for third place with Foothill. Colfax (17-4, 4-0 PVL) leads the league and Placer (13-7, 3-1 CVCL) is in second.

The Lady Miners (8-14, 0-7 SFL) have yet to notch a league win this season and sit in the SFL basement. Unless the Lady Miners have a major resurgence down the stretch and get some help, they will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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