Bear River girls beat Placer in Auburn again

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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With a chance to create a bit of breathing room in the Pioneer Valley League girls hoops race, the Lady Hillmen came out flat.

Kaitlyn Reina scored 15 points, Teryn Rath added 10 and the Bear River girls basketball team beat Placer 48-42 in a league game to record its second win over the Lady Hillmen in Auburn this season.

“It was huge,” Bruins coach Jeff Bickmore said of his team’s win. “If we lose tonight, we have no chance to win a league championship. So now, it’s anyone’s league. Us, Placer and Colfax all have one loss.”

Bear River (18-2, 3-1) used a 9-0 run out of the gate to gain control of momentum early and led 28-19 at half.

When Bear River defeated Placer in a non-league Coach ‘G’ Memorial Tournament title game in December, 58-55, the Lady Hillmen were the ones who stormed out to a big 16-6 lead in the opening period.

“The first time we came out a little rough,” said Bear River’s Savannah Welz, who scored seven points Friday. “This time we came out looking really good.”

Kerry McCullough and Baylee Vanderdoes both scored 10 points apiece for Placer (18-3, 3-1), which rallied in the second half to force ties of 28-28 and 33-33 but was never able to take the lead.

“We had our opportunities in the second half to take control of the game,” said Placer coach Tony Camillucci, “and every time we tried Bear River did something really smart.”

Had Placer won, the Lady Hillmen would have been in the driver’s seat in a now tight PVL race, with Colfax also 3-1 in league play after beating Center Friday.

“We would have been in great shape had we won this game,” said Camillucci, whose team holds a win over Colfax. “As I just told my girls, we just lost position.”

Bear River hosts Placer on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in the second to last league contest of the season.

On Tuesday, Bear River hosts Center, while Placer heads to Foothill. Both games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Reach Matthew Kimel at Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel