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So far, so good

Eileen JoyceNevada Union's Archie Pearson drives to the basket Thursday against Johnson's Leroy Brown. Pearson scored eight points in NU's 62-54 victory.
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Jeff Dellis was well aware of the fact his Nevada Union Miners had lost 11 times prior to entering Thursday night’s game against visiting Hiram Johnson.

Of course, those were non-league losses.

“We’re undefeated,” Dellis said with a grin, after the Miners sent the Warriors home with a 62-54 Metro Conference defeat. “We’re 1-0 and that’s all that counts.



“This is league and we’re going to take them one at a time. Like the domino effect, we’re going to knock ’em down one at a time.”

Nevada Union (5-11 overall, 1-0 In Metro Conference) knocked down its shots in the early going Thursday, as the Miners ran off to a 10-1 lead in the first four-and-a-half minutes of play.




But the Warriors weren’t about to go away. Johnson regrouped with a 12-0 run over the final three minutes of the opening quarter for a 15-12 advantage.

It didn’t take long, though, for NU to answer.

After hitting just one of his first six field-goal attempts, Miner guard Jon Sheets turned to his passing skills. Sheets dished off three-straight assists, two of which were converted for buckets by Gary Daley and another by Archie Pearson. Sheets then sandwiched four free throws around a pull-up jumper propelling NU to a 25-18 lead with 3:17 left in the half. The Miners pushed the margin to 33-20 by the break.

“He’s such an intelligent player,” Dellis said of Sheets. “He really plays to his strengths. When his shots aren’t falling, he’s going to get it to guys like Gary Daley.”

Daley led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including a nine-point, fourth-quarter performance that aided NU’s cause after Sheets had gone down with an ankle injury.

Sheets, who finished with 15 points and five assists, was to have X-rays taken of his injured left ankle after the game.

Nevada Union took its largest lead, 42-26, through the first three minutes of the second half, moving Johnson coach Mike Davis to signal for a timeout. Davis said he wasn’t as upset with his team’s effort, as he was with that of game officials.

“Our kids were sort of taken out of the game by the calls from the referees,” Davis said. “Some calls that should have been made weren’t made. I’m not taking anything away from the competition, but we were competing against them and the refs at the same time.

“It’s hard to get your kids refocused when you’re outnumbered like that.”

The Warriors (4-8 overall, 0-2 Metro) were led by Donte Cornbread’s 11-point effort. Corey Jackson added 10 points, while Will Martin scored eight.

In addition to Daley and Sheets, the Miners got a strong performance from Jarad Van Matre in the post. A 6-foot, 5-inch junior, Van Matre scored eight points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

“He sort of came of age today,” Dellis said. “The first game he played for us, on the first play, he stole the ball and dunked. Since then, though, he’s been tentative.

“I think today he sort of said ‘The hell with it. I’m going to assert myself.’ He was just active and assertive.”

NU also got eight points from Archie Pearson.

The Miners return to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday, when they host C.K. McClatchy.

Nevada Union’s junior varsity also won Thursday, defeating Johnson 66-32.


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