Campbell studies up for semifinal

PVL Pipeline
By: Dave Krizman Journal Sports Columnist
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Madeline Campbell and her fellow Del Oro High girls’ basketball teammates have had enough, and they plan on changing an ongoing basketball playoff nightmare. Four of the last five years, their playoff run has ended at the hands of Sacramento. Tonight, the Golden Eagles will travel to Cosumnes River College to once again face a talented Dragon squad. “Never underestimate an underdog. We never give up and we play with lots of heart and lots of hustle,” Campbell stated with a grim determination in her voice. “We play well as a team.” For a team with a 25-4 record, Del Oro has been largely overshadowed by St. Mary’s of Stockton, the top-ranked team in the nation, and a Sac. High team led by Brittany Shine who has signed a letter-of-intent to play at Florida. Point guard Becky Duncan, wings Brianna Ruiz, Taylor Donnot and Crystal Sewell, center Belle Obert, and shooting guard Campbell have had another stellar season. Winning the Sierra Foothill League title again, continuing their 50 straight wins in league, and helping head coach Mike Takayama win his 500th game have made for a memorable winter. Campbell is a 5-foot-11 junior shooting guard who leads the team in scoring. She hopes to combine her success on the hardwood with her success in the classroom and play college basketball. She has already received looks from Cal Poly, UC Davis, Long Beach State, Gonzaga, and University of Nebraska. She hopes to hear from Ivy League schools this summer as she will continue her basketball exploits as she plays for the Stockton Mustangs, an elite AAU team. “I would really like to play back on the east coast at an Ivy League school,” Campbell said. “I haven’t heard from them yet, but I hope a good AAU season will catch their attention.” She certainly has the grades and academic standing. She has a 4.2 GPA, and takes classes that will earn her a serious look from those Ivy League schools she so covets. This term her classes include: Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus, Psychology, AP US History, and Honors English. In addition, Campbell was selected as the Girls’ State delegate for Del Oro and will attend the conference this summer. This will be no easy task as she will have to work around her busy AAU season. Today, her attention is focused on the game at hand. Four of the last five years, Del Oro’s playoff hopes have come to an end in the semifinals. In 2005, 2008, 2009 they were beaten by Sacramento High, and in 2007 they were beaten by St. Mary’s. In 2006, they were beaten by Sacramento High in the quarterfinals. These are two teams and two programs who know one another well. Tonight, Campbell and her teammates hope to begin a new streak: one where the Golden Eagles ‘outshine’ Sac. High.