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Baylee creating hoops buzz

E.V. Cain eighth grade girls closing in on perfect league run
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Eddie Vanderdoes casts a large shadow. The Placer High junior is not only a football specimen at 6-3, 295 pounds, he’s one of the most coveted recruits in the nation. But Baylee Vanderdoes doesn’t mind. Eddie’s 13-year-old sister is sure to get her share of attention soon enough. Baylee is creating a buzz around the Foothill Intermediate Schools Athletic League with her dominating play on the basketball court. At 6-1, the eighth grader has led the Wildcats to a perfect 8-0 record in FISAL play heading into Thursday’s regular season finale. Vanderdoes had a sub-par night by her standards on Monday, the same day her older brother got a scholarship offer from Nick Saban - the head coach of national champion Alabama. She still scored 16 points, including 10 in the third quarter, when E.V. Cain pulled away from Glen Edwards on the way to a 42-21 win. Vanderdoes is averaging 21.8 points per game along with double figures in rebounds. Coach Bernhard Peat estimated she averages close to 12 boards per game along with two blocks. Peat beams when talking about both Baylee and Eddie - his grandchildren. He played football and basketball at Placer and went on to play football at Cal before embarking on a long pro hoops career in Germany. Baylee now plays basketball with her grandfather’s zest for the game. She spent countless hours in the gym perfecting her jump shot last summer and now she’s reliable from 15 feet and in. The team’s success is the real story this season, Baylee said. “Our team is a lot closer this year,” she said. “We’re passing the ball a lot more.” “I want her to play team ball,” Peat added. “We’re blowing out most of the teams in league so she usually plays a little more than half the game. We’re trying to develop all the players for next year.” The E.V. Cain players point to a big win over Olympus (Roseville) earlier this season as a turning point for the team. “They beat us twice before and then we came back and beat them by 18,” said Sarah Kosmata, a standout guard for the Wildcats. The Wildcats’ size and strength doesn’t end with Vanderdoes. Kaitlyn Rubio is a tough forward who complements Vanderdoes nicely on the inside. Gabby Baker comes off the bench to give E.V. Cain another solid contributor in the paint. Guard Amber Birchall is the team’s second-leading scorer and a leader on the court. “She shoots the 3 and handles the ball a lot,” Peat said. “She has a good, steady hold on the team.” The Wildcats are closing in on an undefeated run through the FISAL. No E.V. Cain girls team has done that since 2004, when Kasey Riecks and Madison Meade starred for the team. They’re now college seniors, about to wrap up their respective outstanding basketball careers. E.V. Cain may have to beat Olympus again to cap its perfect season. The season concludes next Tuesday at the FISAL Tournament at Cavitt in Granite Bay. “We want to get a banner,” Vanderdoes said.