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Nothin but a G thing
Nunez torches Cats for 30; nails 6 triples
Sierra guard Guillermo Nunez flies by Sonoras Josh Thacker during Tuesdays Valley Oak League game. Nunez scored 30 points in a 63-45 victory. - photo by CHRIS LEONARD / <a href=>

Guillermo Nunez shuffled up the wing, slowly drawing Sonora forward Nick Mays out of his comfort zone.

Keep coming.

Keep coming.

Then, with the 6-foot-4 Mays drifting in no-man’s land, Nunez bolted to the bucket, spinning the curly-topped defender like a screw.

The Sierra senior collected the back-door pass and let fly with a floater. The shot wouldn’t go in, but just about everything else did.

Nunez scored a game-high 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting, lifting the defending Valley Oak League champions to a 63-45 victory over the Wildcats on Tuesday evening.

Bryson Sanders had 14 points off the bench and point guard Eric Melgar chipped in 12 as Sierra (3-0 Valley Oak League, 13-3 overall) won its seventh straight game.

This one, however, came courtesy of Nunez and a strong finishing kick.

The Timberwolves scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to ease the tension inside Sierra’s large gym. The game featured five lead changes and one tie.

“We were a little sluggish tonight. I thought Sonora did a good job of switching defenses on us,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said. “Guillermo stepped up to the plate big time.”

Nunez had four points in the decisive flurry, including a 3-point dagger from the wing that made it 53-41.

 “He’s one of the best players in the league. When I shook his hand before the game, I asked him ‘So, you’re a senior, right?’” Sonora coach Rick Francis said, praising the wiry 6-1 guard that goes by “G” in the locker room. “The VOL is gifted with some really talented guards and he’s right there.

“You leave him open and he’ll bury it. You can’t lose vision. If you lose vision, you’re going to get burned. You have got to know where he’s at at all times.”

Nunez kept the Wildcats guessing throughout. He had six 3-pointers – a seventh was waved off because of a foul – displaying a confidence in his stroke that wasn’t there just a week ago.

He was perfect from the floor in the first and third periods; a combined 9 for 9 during that stretch.

“My team trusted me,” Nunez said. “They had that confidence in me.”

He didn’t miss a shot until the 6:43 mark of the second quarter and even that was close. Nunez rose up over Mays for a baseline jumper, but the ball rattled around the rim.

No matter.

“He’s starting to shoot it pretty well. I’ve been seeing it in practice now for about a week,” Thomason said. “He’s getting back to good technique.

“He works well off the ball. He does a really good job of hunting down shots. Once he starts to hit the 3, it opens things up for him. Early on in the season, I thought he was tentative with his 3-point shot and got a little mid-range happy.”

He had help on Tuesday.

Sanders played extended minutes off the bench and added five rebounds to his offensive production. Melgar scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half.

“That’s a very balanced basketball team,” said Francis, his team now 5-11 and 1-2 in VOL play. “They know their roles and they execute very well.”

Sonora kept it close early with its inside-outside game. Forward Ben Bates scored 17 points, Mays finished with eight and the Wildcats connected on five 3-pointers in the first half. Sonora trailed by one at the intermission, 26-25.

Junior Varsity

Sonora 57, Sierra 54

Alex Barnett knocked down five 3-pointers and led three players in double figures with 16 points, but Sierra couldn’t hold onto an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Sonora stunned the Timberwolves with a 22-11 run over the final eight minutes, sealing the victory with a 3 with less than 40 seconds remaining.

Joshua Patton had 11 points and Devin Nunez 10 for Sierra.


Sierra 52, Sonora 49 (OT)

Daniel Wyatt scored all nine of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime period for Sierra, which avoided a second-half collapse.

Sonora outscored Sierra 27-14 in the third and fourth quarters to force overtime. The Timberwolves outscored the ‘Cats 10-7 in the extra session, highlighted by Wyatt’s only 3-pointer.