No. 15 Del Oro's seven-year reign as Sierra Foothill League girls basketball champions came to an end tonight with a 70-67 loss at No. 6 Nevada Union, but the Golden Eagles' outlook for the postseason may have been boosted by the return of senior Brianna Ruiz.
Ruiz, who suffered an ACL tear during the summer, and returned to action for the first time on Tuesday, scored 19 points. But even with Ruiz' teammate Stephanie Geyer going for 20, the Golden Eagles (16-10, 6-3) couldn't overcome the Miners' depth.
Nicole Lierly had 20 points, Sydney Porter 17, Emma Peterson 14 and Kaylin Martin 11 for the Miners (20-4, 8-1), who end their season on Tuesday against winless in league Roseville.
Del Oro trailed 40-30 at the half and 57-53 entering the fourth quarter.
Two free throws by Ruiz, who will play on scholarship next fall at Washington, put Del Oro within one, 68-67, late before Lierly and Martin each hit free throws for the final margin of victory.
In other girls Top 20 games reported to The Bee:
NO. 7 CHRISITAN BROTHERS 83, RIO LINDA 40 - A 31-point outburst in the second quarter propelled the Falcons (19-7, 9-0) over the Knights (5-17, 2-7) in the Capital Valley Conference game in Oak Park. Ana Burch had 21 points and Niel Valmores 18 for CBS.
NO. 12 BEAR RIVER 65, CENTER 41 - Sarah Hagar and Kaitlyn Reina had 12 points each and Teryn Rath and Savannah Welz 11 apiece as the Bruins (23-3, 8-2) defeated the Cougars (11-16, 3-7) in a Pioneer Valley League game in Antelope. With the win, Bear River finishes as tri-champions with No. 17 Placer and No. 18 Colfax.
NO. 14 ROCKLIN 73, ROSEVILLE 48 - Lydia Summers had 22 points and Jaimie Curtis 16 as the Thunder (18-8, 6-3) defeated the Tigers (3-22, 0-9) in an SFL game in Roseville. Lindsay Anderson had 22 points for Roseville.
NO. 17 PLACER 52, FOOTHILL 44 - Trailing 26-23 at the half, the Hillgals (23-4, 8-2) rallied to defeat the Mustangs (8-15, 2-8) in Auburn and finish as PVL tri-champions. Kerry McCullough led Placer with 16 points.
NO. 18 COLFAX 35, LINCOLN 27 - The Falcons (18-9, 8-2) held the Fighting Zebras (12-15, 1-9) to 17 points through three quarters en route to the PVL win and tri-championship in the regular-season finale.