Hillmen use defense to stay on top of FVL
Defense was the name of the game Wednesday night in the Earl Crabbe Gym.
Sparked by a suffocating effort on the defensive end of the court, Placer’s boys basketball team remained on top of the Foothill Valley League standings with a decisive 71-32 dismantling of visiting Rio Linda.
The Knights never were in the game as the Hillmen jumped out to a 21-5 lead after a quarter and breezed home to the victory.
Sparked by sophomore Max Petrenko and senior Konner Baroni, who combined for 24 first-half points, the Hillmen extended their halftime lead to 44-9 and coasted the rest of the way.
Placer, 16-9 overall and 6-1 in the FVL, had 10 different players reach the points column, led by Petrenko with 18 and Baroni with 14. Owen Tucker added nine points while Barrett Lichau and Michael Stuck chipped in with seven each.
Petrenko led in rebounding with nine while Ian Howes played a good floor game with six assists and five steals. The Hillmen host Oakmont at 7 p.m. Friday night.
Marysville 72, Bear River 52
The Indians avenged an earlier league loss to the Bruins and in the process moved ahead of Bear River in the battle for the second spot in the Pioneer Valley League boys race.
The Indians used a strong second half to pull away from the visitors. Marysville held a 36-31 lead at halftime but broke the game open by outscoring the Bruins 20-9 in the third quarter.
Marysville (18-7, 5-2) was led by Illyaas Rafiq, who finished with 24 points and Kameron Klein, who tallied 21. Bear River (13-10, 4-3) followed 14 points each from Brekyn Vasquez and Brad Smith. Adam Malik connected for 13 more.
Bear River will entertain Colfax at 7 p.m. Friday night.
Center 67, Colfax 25
Running into the PVL leaders with a shorthanded roster added up to a long night for the Falcons. Missing two starters because of illness, Colfax fell behind 23-5 after a quarter and never could keep up the rest of the way.
Center improved to 7-0 with the win and owns a two-game cushion over the rest of the PVL field with three games left. Leading the Cougars were Elias Bonds with 12 points and Michael Wortham with 11. Jake Green paced Colfax with 12 points.
In the JV game, Center posted a 43-36 win despite 24 points from Colfax’s Benton Stocks. In the frosh game, Colfax cinched the PVL championship with a 53-51 win over the Cougars. Leading the Falcons were Noah Souza with 18 points and Jamie Shanahan with 13.