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The Week Ahead: Hoops teams make push for playoffs

In terms of prep basketball, this is it.

Area teams have until Friday to make their final push toward a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth or otherwise turn in the gear for the year.

For area wrestlers who qualified out of last week’s league competition, this week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional tournaments are up next.



But starting with the two hoops teams in most need of wins, the Bear River and Nevada Union boys squads, time is running out on basketball season.

The Bruins (11-12) were rated 20th in last week’s Division IV power ratings, which means they would need to leapfrog four teams to reach the field of 16. Unless the Bruins can suddenly snap a five-game losing streak, a road trip to Whitney (11-15) Tuesday and a home game with El Dorado (16-8) on Thursday will likely be the final two contests for the club.




Nevada Union (11-13) stood 19th in the Division I power ratings last week, leaving the Miners three spots shy of a spot in the playoffs. Like the Bruins, NU needs to end a skid – three straight losses – and pick up wins at Woodcreek (20-5) Wednesday and home against Oakmont (16-6) Friday to keep any hope alive.

Forest Lake Christian (11-11), rated 12th in Division V, looks to maintain its place in the playoffs with Friday’s regular season finale at Foresthill (4-15).

On the girls side, all three area teams appear to be playoff bound, but they will want a strong finish to solidify their seedings in the section tournament.

Nevada Union’s Lady Miners (13-11), who stood 14th in Division I before going 1-1 last week in the Sierra Foothill League, will look to seal the deal at home against Woodcreek (18-7) Tuesday and on the road at Oakmont (11-14) Thursday.

FLC’s Lady Falcons (14-9), who stood eighth in Division V through two sets of power ratings, posted a 1-1 mark last week. FLC hopes to keep hold of the eighth spot, which would earn a first-round home game, with a win at Foresthill (9-7) in the regular season finale Friday.

Bear River (19-5), the highest rated among all six varsity basketball teams in western Nevada County at No. 3 in Division IV, could earn the right to host two playoff games with a strong finish. The Lady Bruins close out at home with Whitney (16-10) Wednesday on the road at Pioneer Valley League-leading El Dorado (21-1) Friday.

Wrestling

Sac-Joaquin Section Divisionals

Nevada Union will haul 12 wrestlers to the Division II Tournament at Oak Ridge High School on Friday, with hopes of advancing all dozen to Saturday’s championship round with berth into the section Masters Championships on the line.

For NU, Sawyer Mosel (103 pounds), Tyler Szura (112), Jacob Purdy (119), Julian Purdy (125), Josh Cena (130), Robin Callas (140), Abraham Fish (145), Trevor Painter (152), Kyle Newman (171), Devyn Grimes (189), Rafael Iriarte (215) and Michael Champagne (285) will seek one of four qualifying spots for the Masters in their respective weight brackets.

Nine Bear River wrestlers will vie for a Masters berth when they compete in the Division IV Tournament at East Union High School in Manteca Friday and Saturday.

Representing Bear River will be Kyle Anderson (103), Jory Gemignani (112), Juan Gudino (119), Nick Sauers (125), Jordan Halleib (130), Harley Sauers (135), Justin Chirigotis (140), Braden Scinto (189) and Michael Merrell (215).

The Sac-Joaquin Section Wrestling Masters Tournament will be held Feb. 26-27 at the Stockton Arena.


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