South county sweep
The Bear River and Nevada Union boys and girls basketball programs each scorched the hardwood at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium for 64 minutes in their inaugural Foundation Game Tuesday.
In the early game, the 2002 Sac-Joaquin Section runner-up Lady Bruins trailed by the point at the half to the underclassmen-laden Lady Miners, but pulled out a 51-48 win.
“I think we really underestimated them. We thought we were going to come out and walk over them. We didn’t expect them to play as hard as they did,” Bear River senior guard Cassie Smith said.
Bear River senior center Nicole Scott carried the Lady Bruins in the first half, scoring 18 of her game-high 24 points in the first 16 minutes.
“I knew I had to come out fired up because we knew NU was (gunning) for us,” she said. “It’s awesome we won. Now there’s no way they can beat us (seniors).”
Scott also turned in a team-high four steals.
NU head coach Craig Strohm was upbeat despite the final outcome.
“I’m really proud of my kids. If we were a rock tour, we’d be ‘The Coming of Age’ tour because we’re young,” he said. “We’re very young. I haven’t started a freshman in 10 years and if you look out there on the court, and there are (a bunch) of freshman and sophomores running around out there.”
Bear River’s Meaghan Noud was held scoreless in the first half, but finished with 10 points.
Smith was right behind with nine points.
Forest Lake Christian transfer Tracy Malone led the way for NU with 16 points.
Freshman Heather Gore finished with 10 points. Ali Parrot chipped in nine points.
In the nightcap, Bear River’s boys got a game-high 25 points from senior guard Gopal Cabrera and a career-high 17 rebounds from senior forward Steve Sacher to snag a 62-57 win and complete the sweep.
“The hard part of this game was someone had to lose,” Bruin head coach Jack McCrory said. “This was a really, really enjoyable game for us (as coaches and players). You can’t manufacture this kind of pressure at practice.”
Sacher finished with 13 points. Keith Marin and Dusty Tabellija each had nine points in the win.
Archie Pearson and Tyler Smith each scored 12 points to lead the way for the Miners.
“I thought Tyler had a great game for his varsity debut. He settled us down on offense, and I thought he did a really nice job covering Cabrera on defense,” NU’s head coach Jeff Dellis said.
Gary Daley totaled 10 points for NU. Chad Smith chipped in eight points.
The Foundation Game was instituted by the California Interscholastic Federation as a way to raise money for scholarships.
Half the gate receipts go to the home team to cover expenses, with the other half going to the particular section.
At the end of the season, the section will allocate monies to each league for separate boys and girls student/athlete scholarships.
“It’s a program we’re proud to be associated with,” McCrory said.
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14.