After a seven-year run at the top of the Sierra Foothill League girls basketball heap, there is a new queen on the block.
Ending Del Oro’s seven-season stranglehold as SFL champions, Nevada Union’s Miners cinched the 2013 SFL crown by defeating the Lady Eagles, 70-67, Thursday night in Grass Valley.
In a hotly contested affair played before NU’s winter homecoming night crowd, the Lady Miners used a strong fourth quarter to hold off the Lady Eagles, who didn’t go down without a fight.
Del Oro, which trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, found itself down, 40-30, at halftime. But the Lady Eagles stayed within striking distance of the Miners and actually led in the fourth quarter, thanks to key baskets by Stephanie Geyer and Brianna Ruiz.
Geyer led the Lady Eagles with 20 points, while Ruiz – making her first appearance of the season after injuring a knee and undergoing surgery last summer – added 19 more. Mia Maglinte contributed nine more points, while Lauren Heyn scored six and freshman A.J. Baylon tallied five.
Del Oro, now, 16-10 on the season, faced another tough test on Tuesday when the Lady Eagles squared off against Woodcreek, a team that handed the Lady Eagles a first-round loss last month.
If Del Oro was able to win that game, the possibility of the Lady Eagles cracking the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s top four in the Div. II Power Ratings was still alive.
The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs will open with “out-bracket” games this Friday with the Del Oro girls opening at home with a first-round game on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
JV’s suffer first league loss
After eight straight wins, the Del Oro JV girls team took its first SFL loss last Thursday at Nevada Union, 42-40. The game was close throughout with the two teams hit with a power outage in the fourth quarter as Del Oro was outscore just 4-2.
Del Oro, 24-2 overall on the season and 8-1 in SFL games, was led in scoring by Ellen Runte with 16 points, Meghan Baird with 11 and Kendra Chaffee and Mickayla Balser with six points each.
Earlier last week, Del Oro shot out to a 31-8 margin at halftime and never looked back in drubbing Roseville, 51-27. The Lady Eagles were led by Baird with 12 points and Chaffee with 10. Runte and Balser both added seven points each.