Young’uns lead Lady Miners
Nevada Union head girls basketball coach Craig Strohm can best describe this year’s team with one word:
Strohm, who’s entering his 19th year at the helm of NU’s girls program, will start a freshman, three sophomores and a junior when the Blue and Gold opens Metro Conference play a Hiram Johnson (Sacramento) 7 p.m. tonight.
“Coming in, we only had three seniors, but we had our starting point guard returning in Kayleigh Korrell, along with Emma Kite, a shooting guard who also saw quite a bit of playing time last year. So at least we thought were going to have some experience,” Strohm said.
Korrell, an all-conference performer as a sophomore last season, sustained a season-ending knee injury in the Lady Miners’ first intra-squad scrimmage.
NU then lost Kite for the season, also due to a knee injury, approximately two weeks later.
“The magnitude of Kayleigh’s talent can’t me minimized. She was not only a great offensive player, evidenced by her 26 points against Kennedy (Sacramento) last year, but she was our defensive stopper,” Strohm said.
“(Without Kayleigh there) we almost had to go back to square one. There have been a couple times this season where we’ve taken a step backwards. But for the most part, we’ve continued to work very hard and now we’re beginning to reap the benefits,” he added.
Tracy Malone is one of NU’s three sophomore starters.
The 5-foot, 8-inch transfer from Forest Lake Christian will start in place of Korrell at the point.
“Of all of the young kids we’ve got, sometimes it’s hard for me to accept the fact that she is a sophomore because her skill level and leadership qualities on the floor are beyond her years,” Strohm said. “She hits the outside shot very well and she’s been working hard on her ability to penetrate and finish.”
Tanya Noe and Ali Daley – a name familiar to Lady Miner volleyball fans – are two more of Strohm’s super sophomores.
Noe was Kite’s backup at the shooting guard at the beginning of the season, then moved into the starting lineup with Kite’s injury.
Daley, who helped lead the Lady Miner volleyball team to its first ever section title this season and was named to the CalHi-Sports.com’s all-state third team, will do the dirty work in the paint from her center position.
“Tanya’s just a little wisp of a thing, but she’s a gritty player,” Strohm said. “And Ali’s just a super athlete. She’s long, lean and strong. She devotes a lot of time to volleyball, but I think she’s having fun out here. She’s already made leaps and bounds in terms of improvement. You don’t have the success she’s had without having a great work ethic.”
Heather Gore rounds out NU’s youth movement.
The 5-foot, 11-inch freshman starts at power forward, but can light it up from the perimeter.
“To think, last year you’re playing at Ready Springs (Union Elementary School), and all of a sudden you’re playing Division I high school ball is unreal. There were a few jitters at the beginning of the season, but she’s really become a huge factor for us both offensively and defensively,” he added.
Ali Parrott, a junior, is the senior member of NU’s starting five.
“She likes to penetrate and she can also hit the three,” Strohm said of the small forward. “It’s no secret NU basketball likes to shoot the three and she does that very well. That makes her that much more difficult to defend because of her ability to take it to the basket and finish.”
OFF THE BENCH
Sarah Prout, who signed to run track for the University of Nevada, Reno last fall, along with Andy Sexton will get major minutes this season.
“Sarah’s a very physical player and a great rebounder. Andy is our resident Rhodes Scholar with her 4.4 G.P.A. We utilize her brain power as much as her athletic skill by having her fill in at the point, two or three,” Strohm said.
NU’s depth chart was dealt another blow with the loss of senior post Ronnie Ellis to a leg injury. On a brighter note, Mandy Coray, who broke her finger in the Bear River game, has made a full recovery and will also push for minutes.
John F. Kennedy and C.K. McClatchy, both of Sacramento, along with Yuba City will look to make it tough for the defending conference co-champion Lady Miners according to Strohm.
“Our goal is to be in the thick of things at the end of the year, and maybe have enough power points to get a seed in the playoffs,” Strohm said “If we continue to improve at the rate we have been, we’re definitely going to be a factor when it’s all said and done.”
1/10 @ Hiram Johnson
1/15 @ C.K. McClatchy
1/17 John F. Kennedy
1/22 @ Woodland
1/24 Yuba City
2/4 Hiram Johnson
2/6 C.K. McClatchy
2/11 @ John F. Kennedy
2/18 @ Yuba City
2/20 @ Grant
All games are scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.
No. Player Year Ht. Pos.
1 Ali Daley So. 6-0 C
3 Ali Parrott Jr. 5-9 F
5 Mandy Coray Jr. 5-8 G
10 Andy Sexton Sr. 5-9 G
11 Ronnie Ellis Sr. 5-11 C
12 Tracy Malone So. 5-8 G
14 Sarah Eidman Jr. 5-9 G
15 Sabra ConnelleyJr. 5-11 F
21 Kayleigh Korrell Jr. 5-9 G
22 Heather Gore Fr. 5-11 F
23 Emma Kite Jr. 5-9 G
24 Tanya Noe So. 5-8 G
31 Molly Compton Jr. 5-11 F
41 Kate Hummell Jr. 5-11 F
51 Sarah Prout Sr. 5-11 F
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: Moderator Trusted User
Another week on the track and another win for Brad Sweet.