Nevada Union ends DO girls win streak

By: Mike Ray, Loomis News Correspondent
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All good things must come to an end, but for the Del Oro Lady Eagles’ girls basketball team last Friday’s 44-42 setback to visiting Nevada Union came in the form of a double whammy. First, the tight victory by the Miners enabled NU to deal Del Oro its first Sierra Foothill League loss of the season and allows the Grass Valley hoopsters to take control of the league race at the halfway break with a 5-0 mark compared to DO’s 4-1 slate. And, for the record books, the loss was also Del Oro’s first SFL setback since the 2005-06 season – a streak that for the Lady Eagles had reached 63 consecutive wins in a row. “It was a tough one to lose,” said Del Oro coach Mike Takayama. “But we had some missed chances that we didn’t capitalize on. We’ll bounce back.” Del Oro, which for the first time in seven seasons doesn’t find itself in first place in the SFL, will open the second round of league play tonight when they host Rocklin (3-2) at 7:30 p.m. “Rocklin is probably the most improved team in our league and playing with a lot of confidence right now,” said Takayama. “It’s a big game for both teams.” In the two teams’ first meeting last month, Del Oro squeaked out a 47-45 win on the Thunder’s home court. “Every league game is important now with the playoffs approaching,” Takayama added. “Each win is big from here on out.” In last week’s NU game, the two teams went at it for four quarters with NU leading at the end of a quarter, 10-7. Del Oro then used a strong second stanza to forge ahead, 22-19, at intermission before the Miners returned the favor and held a 34-33 margin at the end of the third. In an exciting fourth quarter, Del Oro’s Brianna Ruiz scored on a baseline lay-in with 3:56 to go, to pull Del Oro to within one, 39-38. After both teams muffed scoring opportunities, NU sophomore guard Sydney Porter scored on a reverse lay-in with 2:02 left in the game, before Stephanie Geyer answered with a close-in jumper to keep the Lady Eagles within one. NU then added one of two free tosses before Ruiz knifed her way past the Miners’ defense for the game-tying basket, with 14.2 seconds remaining. After a timeout, the Miners in-bounded the ball from half court, where seconds later Paige McKim was hit for a blocking foul on Porter. Porter, who led the Miners with 17 points, hit both free throws and Geyer was left at half court with no one to pass to after Del Oro inbounded the ball. The junior picked up a traveling call with 1.9 seconds remaining and The Miners took Geyer’s post threat away for much of the game as the junior, who leads the team in scoring with 14.9 points per game, finished with just eight points.