Colfax clamps down on Placer

Falcons keep Hillgals’ top scorers in single digits, cruise to road victory
By: Ray Hacke, Journal Sports Writer
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Like a good scout, Colfax High girls basketball coach Dave Campbell made sure his troops were prepared. The Falcons focused on shutting down Placer’s top scorers Wednesday night, and the strategy paid off with a 56-37 victory over the Hillgals at Earl Crabbe Gymnasium. Colfax (12-9, 5-1 Pioneer Valley League) kept both of Placer’s top scorers, senior guards Kelsey Lardner and Kayla Reeves, in single digits. Reeves led the Hillgals with nine points, while Lardner finished with seven. “We work real hard on our man-to-man defense,” Campbell said. “That’s what we live and die by. “I scouted these guys, and our job in our defensive scheme was to switch up a couple screens and eliminate their scorers. That’s what we did tonight.” Lardner and Reeves weren’t the only Hillgals who had trouble making shots against the Falcons. Colfax held Placer (7-13, 3-3 PVL) to just five points in the first quarter and 13 in the first half. “We had a number of good looks,” Placer coach Tony Camillucci said. “We just couldn’t get the ball in the hole. “But Colfax did a good job playing good fundamental defense. That makes it harder when you have to work so hard to get open looks.” Junior center Michelle Walker led Colfax in scoring with 20 points and rebounding with 14. Senior forward Cassandra Campbell and junior guard April Littlejohn added 12 points apiece. Cassandra Campbell also blocked six shots and shared the team lead in assists with senior guard Kasey Capuchino. Each had five. Senior center Bethany Feis led the Hillgals in rebounds with seven, followed by Lardner with six. Reeves finished with five assists. Colfax led the game from start to finish. Cassandra Campbell sank a couple of early buckets, including the first of three 3-pointers, as the Falcons jumped out to a 7-0 advantage. After Lardner scored on a fast break to cut the Falcons’ lead to 7-5, Colfax closed out the first quarter with an 11-0 run in which five different players scored at least two points. “We’ve done that in a few games,” Camillucci said. “We miss some shots early and it slows our momentum down.” The Hillgals trailed 29-13 at the half but managed to close within 10 points early in the fourth quarter. Nikki Johnston hit back-to-back 3-pointers and fellow junior guard Amy Clark hit a pair of free throws to cut Colfax’s lead to 42-32. Placer could get no closer, though. The Falcons limited the Hillgals to just two field goals in the game’s final five minutes to put the game away. “You work so hard to get within 10 points, and then you’re dead tired,” Camillucci said. “We pressed more in the second half, and we stopped them a number of times. We just couldn’t get going on offense.”