EL DORADO — A fast start didn’t translate to a Sierra Valley Conference victory for the Union Mine High girls basketball team against Vista del Lago Tuesday night.
The Lady Diamondbacks grabbed 15 rebounds in the first quarter. Of the nine offensive boards, three were from center Kimee Mueller, who finished with 13 as Union Mine led 13-7. But the Eagles soared in the second quarter thanks to rebounds, free throws and forced turnovers to post a 49-40 win.
Union Mine (3-3, 16-5) watched its early lead slip away as Vista recorded three offensive rebounds within three minutes, including two from forward Caprina Pipion.
The Eagles (5-1, 12-9) made 4-of-5 free throws in the second; two from Kendall Moore to break a 17-17 tie with 2.4 seconds left in the quarter. Vista led 19-17 at halftime, as the D’backs were held to four points in the quarter.
“They have a lot more height than us,” Union Mine head coach Chris Del Rio said. “We were getting outrebounded just by their height and their athleticism. That made it difficult for us when we weren’t getting the best position (to rebound).”
In the third quarter, Vista continued to build its lead but Union Mine fought throughout the second half to keep it close. Behind 33-30 after D’back guard Kinsey Del Rio hit a basket, the Eagles increased their lead to 35-30 when center Rebecca Stephens (17 points) sank 2-of-2 free throws with 39.2 seconds left in the quarter.
At the free throw line, Vista made 7-of-10 shots. Union Mine made 7-of-14.
“It didn’t seem like we got to the line,” coach Del Rio said. “We’ve been struggling with our free throws.”
Vista led 37-30 after three quarters but the D’backs were within striking distance at 40-38 and 42-40 toward the end of the fourth. In the last-minute, the Eagles sank four free throws, two on a technical foul, to ice the win.
Mueller had a double-double for the D’backs; scoring 16 points to go with her 13 rebounds. Madi Aliff followed with 10 points; Sonya Watson had five; Alex Smith, three; and Kinsey Del Rio, guard Savannah Scott and Ventura had two points each.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.