Six local hoops teams look at playoffs |

Six local hoops teams look at playoffs

And so begins the second season.

With the release of the Sac-Joaquin Section prep basketball playoff brackets Sunday afternoon, six western Nevada County teams finally know what challenges lay in the path to a section title.

Four of the six area teams host a first-round game with the exception of the Bear River and Forest Lake Christian boys team, which will both take to the road Wednesday night.

Both Nevada Union teams came away with No. 2 seeds, with the boys team hosting No. 15 Davis on Friday and the girls team hosting No. 15 Elk Grove on Thursday.

“I think we earned a 2-seed,” Nevada Union boys coach Jeff Dellis said. “We put together a nice win streak to end the season and improved.”

Dellis and his team are the only area team to have played their first-round opponent already this season. Nevada Union beat Davis 65-51 in a nonleague game Dec. 13, but Dellis commented that Davis was without key player David Allison, a 6-foot-5 senior guard.

While Duwaine Ganskie and the NU girls haven’t faced Elk Grove this season, Ganskie was on top of the scouting report. He explained that Elk Grove began the year winning six games, but went on a bit of a slide when their 6-foot-4 post player tore her ACL.

According to Ganskie’s math, he thought the Miners looked to be a No. 3 seed with Kennedy No. 2 and Sheldon No. 4. But after the Miners beat Kennedy twice, the selection committee bumped Nevada Union up and moved Kennedy down to the No. 4 seed behind Sheldon.

Despite beating Colfax handily last Friday, the Bear River girls team drew a No. 3 seed, with the Falcons snagging a No. 1 seed. A possible league rematch wouldn’t come, however, until the section championship game.

Bear River hosts No. 14 Hilmar on Tuesday night, with the Bruins possibly taking on a tough No. 6 Loretto team in the second-round if both teams win.

“The seed was about what we expected,” Bear River coach Jeff Bickmore said. “We don’t think we got necessarily the easiest draw, but we figure we’ll have to beat every at one point eventually if we want to win the section.”

While the Bear River girls have a chance to play at home for the first two rounds, the No. 10 Bear River boys hit the road immediately traveling to No. 7 Encina (Sacramento) Wednesday night. Bear River coach Jack McCrory said the team was originally worried it might be heading to Merced and was elated not to have to travel to the other side of the section.

The Bruins are back in the playoffs this season after a one-year absence.

Last season, the Forest Lake Christian boys basketball team came up with a thrilling upset in the first round, beating No. 2 seed Turlock Christian as a No. 15 seed before falling to Capital Christian in the second round.

However, if the No. 10 Falcons get past No. 7 Brookside Christian (Stockton) on Wednesday night, the likely opponent in the second round would be No. 2 seed Capital Christian once again.

Falcon coach David Thomas says his team and Brookside Christian are without any common opponents, but if his teams plays like it’s capable of playing, it should be competitive.

The Falcons received good news about the hand of junior Adam Reed. The team originally feared he broke his hand, but it turned out to be severe bruise and he will be available to play throughout playoffs.

In attempting to win its fourth-straight section title, the Forest Lake Christian girls basketball team has a somewhat difficult path ahead. The Falcons drew a No. 5 seed and host Stockton Christian in the first round Tuesday.

Forest Lake Christian coach Steve Kellar said it was realistic to expect his team to win its first two games to set up a showdown with league foe Sacramento Waldorf in the semifinal game.

“If we get some quality officials, we can take Waldorf,” Kellar said.


To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail or call 477-4244.


• No. 2 Nevada Union hosts No. 15 Davis Sr., Friday

• No. 10 Bear River travels to No. 7 Encina, Wednesday

• No. 10 FLC travels to No. 7 Brookside Christian (Stockton), Wednesday


• No. 2 Nevada Union hosts No. 15 Elk Grove, Thursday

• No. 3 Bear River hosts Hilmar, Tuesday

• No. 5 Forest Lake Christian hosts No. 12 Stockton Christian, Tuesday

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User