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Bailey a gem for Bear Cubs

Campus Canvass
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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ROCKLIN ” Mackenzie Bailey's rooting section made her feel like she was back at Del Oro High Tuesday night. Bailey rarely lost in Loomis, but her Santa Rosa Junior College basketball team came up short against Sierra, losing 63-60. Playing just a few miles from where she starred for the Golden Eagles, Bailey scored 15 points for Santa Rosa and gave her fans plenty to cheer about. I was really excited for this game, Bailey said. It was fun to have some fans rooting for me and just to play in front of my family and friends near my home. Sierra and a handful of four-year schools recruited Bailey after her stellar career at Del Oro. She opted to join her cousin ” a Santa Rosa softball player ” in Santa Rosa, where she has thrived. I love it here, Bailey said. At first I was considering Sierra, but I kind of wanted to do my own thing and get away. Coach Lacey Campbell didn't see Bailey play in high school, but it didn't take her long to figure out that she would be a major contributor right away. She's a great defender and she brings a lot of intensity, Campbell said of her starting shooting guard. She's really rounded out our lineup. It was a great pick-up for us from out of the area. Bailey's former coach with the Pacific Pistols Norm Schoenhoff was among the fans cheering her on Tuesday at Sierra. Bailey said her many years of competing in AAU tournaments with the Pistols made her transition to junior college ball a smooth one. I played with the Pacific Pistols for a long time and that really helped, she said. It wasn't that hard to adjust to playing, but in college, basketball takes up a lot more time. Bailey's team is third in the Big 8 Conference with a 7-4 record. Just three games remain in the regular season and the Bear Cubs are hoping to hit their stride for a long playoff run. Santa Rosa has adopted a pressing, up-tempo style of play this season, thanks in part to its tenacious freshman. With the addition of Mackenzie and some of the other players, it seems to be a good style for us, Campbell said. Bailey is unsure what her future holds on many fronts. She hasn't chosen a major, but said she really enjoys all of her classes. After next season she may have scholarship offers from four-years schools, but Bailey isn't getting ahead of herself. I have no idea what I want to do yet, Bailey said. Right now I'm happy where I'm at.