EL DORADO — Revenge was sweet for the six seniors on the Union Mine High girls basketball team.
For the last three seasons, they’ve wanted to beat intra-county and Sierra Valley Conference rival El Dorado and this year they did — not once but twice — the second coming Thursday at the Snake Pit with a 49-25 Senior Night victory.
Playing their final prep home game were Sonya Watson, Brianna Lara, Kimee Mueller, Alex Smith, Deyanira Ventura and Madison Aliff, who combined for 43 of the team’s points.
Beating El Dorado once was nice the group agreed … but to sweep their rivals was icing on the cake.
Playing for a program that produced more overall wins this season, 19, than any other Union Mine girls team has been a great experience, the group noted.
“It’s been amazing to be with all of my friends,” Lara said. Added Smith, “It’s been a really great season.” Aliff noted that “we developed and grew as a team.”
The game was close in the first quarter, as Union Mine led 5-4 after Cougar Hannah Dixon sank two of her six points but an Aliff layup and Ventura three-pointer gave the Lady D’backs a 10-4 lead.
Leading 13-8 going into the second quarter, Union Mine turned up the heat on defense and outscored El Dorado 17-5 to take a 30-13 halftime lead. The D’backs outscored El Dorado in the second half, 19-11.
“I am so happy for the seniors,” Union Mine head coach Chris Del Rio said. “They have worked so hard for four years. To beat El Dorado twice in the (same) year after being beaten by them each of the previous three years is just great. I think we were just a little bit more pumped up to play them.”
El Dorado head coach Pat Winter added, “Our struggle to score keeps rearing its ugly head. I thought we had plenty of good looks but we just can’t seem to find the bottom of the net. I would like to congratulate Chris on a good year.”
Now Union Mine has one conference game left before entering this week’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff picture.
“We’re just going to play our hearts out,” Mueller said.
Aliff and Watson had 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Mueller followed with seven, Ventura and Lara, four each, Savannah Scott, three, Smith and Stephanie Preacher two each and Trisha Tolbert, one.
Dixon and Sabrina Tate scored six points each for El Dorado. Maddie Zuber and Gina Somara followed with four each, Rebecca McCaughey and Kylie Haverson two each and Katryna Holyfield-Helm, one.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.