EL DORADO — Host Union Mine opened on a 10-0 run and led start to finish in turning back Galt 48-35 in Sierra Valley Conference girls basketball action Monday night.
The Lady Diamondbacks improved to 18-5 with their second win over the Warriors. Madison Aliff led Union Mine with 11 points while Kimee Mueller added 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Key to the victory was 17 bench points — nine from Stephanie Preacher (two blocks).
“We wouldn’t be where we are this season without the play of our bench,” D’back coach Chris Del Rio said. “The scary thing about tonight was that they beat Liberty Ranch last week in a major upset so we weren’t sure if it was a rivalry thing or they’re that much better since the last time we saw them.”
Mueller scored eight first-quarter points and Union Mine took a 24-14 lead at the half. Both teams played zone and the D’backs’ only threat was whether Galt could make its outside shots with consistency.
“Our defense was awesome and we played together as a team,” Mueller said. “When we get into our vibe we’re unstoppable.”
The pace picked up in the second half as both teams pressed the other. After the Warriors pulled to within seven, the D’backs ran off 10 straight — six by Aliff and four by Sonya Watson — to lead 36-19 heading to the fourth.
“I thought we played pretty well … just trying to get back our aggressiveness on defense,” Aliff said. “We were more uniform in this win than the first time we played them.”
The Warriors hit four three-pointers in the fourth to narrow the gap. Union Mine countered as Deyanira Ventura converted a runner off the glass, Aliff found Mueller inside, Aliff made two free throws and Brianna Lara followed in her own miss.
Lara added eight points; Watson, four; and Savannah Scott, Alex Smith and Ventura two apiece.