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U-Prep blows past Central Valley 58-45 to take commanding lead atop NAL standings

The Panthers are solidifying themselves as the top contender in Division IV and Northern Athletic League and are en route to achieve a feat they’ve never accomplished before in program history.

That is to win three-straight NAL titles. 

U-Prep controlled visiting Central Valley from the start, never trailing in the game to run away with a 58-45 home victory Friday night.

Two-time defending NAL champion U-Prep finds itself in sole possession of first place at 6-0 and has no plans on letting it go. 

Fresh off NAL wins against Lassen and Yreka last week and a win against Central Valley Friday night, U-Prep is riding a six game win streak. The Panthers are undefeated against divisional opponents so far with their only losses against upper division schools.

Friday night the Panthers took care of business against the Falcons. U-Prep jumped out to a 14-7 lead at the end of the first. An 18-9 second quarter turned a seven-point lead to 16 at the half. Logan Hawes, who scored a team-high 17 points, set the tone on the offensive glass, snagging three of his six offensive rebounds in the first half.

“I go into every game knowing I need to do my best. One of my roles is to try to get as many boards as I can” said Hawes. “On offense put them up, on defense get it so we can move it and transfer so we can get easy buckets.”

Tanner Stephens—who leads the NAL in scoring, complemented Hawes’ 17-point double-double with 16 points of his own. He now has 321 points on the season with four regular season games left.

Central Valley continued to battle hard in the second half, playing very aggressive. Although, they could not manage to get within single digits the remainder of the game and U-Prep held on to win 58-45. 

Dojah Alido finished with a team-high 15 points and Jamare Rawls added nine for Central Valley. The Falcons fall to 9-13, 1-5 NAL and still have a chance at squeezing into the NAL playoffs with four divisional games remaining. 

The Falcons will have a better idea on where they rank in the division when the first edition of the Northern Section playoff points are released Monday.

“Their (CV) kids played really hard, super aggressive. I like what they’re doing.” said U-Prep coach Mark Stephens. “He’s (coach Colin Carr) got a real good team and it’s tough to play here and come in and beat us on our home court.”

U-Prep closes out its final stretch against Anderson at home on Tuesday, at West Valley, Yreka, and at Lassen. 

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity. It’s a great chance for us to make history and we’re going to do our best to make it happen, said Panthers coach Mark Stephens.

Central Valley 7-9-7-22–45
U-Prep 14-18-13-13–58
Central Valley (9-13, 1-5 NAL): Alido 16, Rawls 9, Saelee 7, Thomas 5, Morrow 4, Mowry 3, Graunstadt 2.
U-Prep (17-7, 6-0 NAL): Hawes 17, Stephens 16, Cox 11, Lipman 5, Jones 4, Lanning 2, Friesen 2, Randhawa 2, Miyamoto 1.
3-Pointers–Central Valley 3 (Thomas, Saelee, Mowry); U-Prep 3 (Stephens 2, Cox)

NAL Standings
Team NAL, Overall
U-Prep 6-0, 17-7
Lassen 4-2, 16-8
Anderson 3-3, 12-10
West Valley 2-4, 8-12
Yreka 2-4, 11-12
Central Valley 1-5, 9-13

Max is a young up-and-coming journalist who carries shares a die-hard passion for sports with the rest of the SCS team and has loved sports ever since he can remember. He's covered Northern Section championship football and basketball games as well as state playoffs games in his first year as a reporter for SCS. Max is currently enrolled at Shasta College and is working toward his Bachelors Degree in journalism.

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