Coach: 'Less pressure' on Placer than No. 1 Christian Brothers in section semifinal

No. 4 Lady Hillmen to take on top seed at Cosumnes River College
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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Placer coach Tony Camillucci has no problem with the fact that most people consider the Christian Brothers girls basketball team his Lady Hillmen will face as the favorite to move on to the section title game.

“We’re a four seed and they’re a one seed,” Camillucci said last week of the two teams that will meet Tuesday at Cosumnes River College in a 7:30 p.m. Div. III Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal. “So obviously we’re going to be the underdog. That’s OK with us. We’re happy to be down there playing. We’re playing really good basketball right now. We’re peaking at the right time. There’s a little less pressure on us.”

Placer (25-4) heads into the showdown riding a six-game winning streak, including double-digit victories in the playoffs over No. 13 Rosemont and No. 5 Patterson. 

Christian Brothers (22-7) has won 10 in a row, including an 81-19 romp over No. 16 Natomas and 78-41 rout of No. 8 River Valley in the playoffs.

“They’re a very good team,” Camillucci said of the Falcons. “They run and jump and they’re going to be all over us. I think we have guards that can handle that pressure. Hopefully our size will help us get the ball over half court.”

Though Christian Brothers has played a tough schedule, it would appear as if the Falcons are a better team at home (10-1) than away (8-2) or at a neutral site (4-4).

Statistically, the Falcons are led on offense by Kira McKechnie (14.3 points per game) and senior Ana Burch (11.3 ppg) but are capable of placing numerous players in double-digit figures on any given night.

Asked what Placer needs to do to have a chance to win against Christian Brothers, Baylee Vanderdoes said, “Press hard.”

Added teammate Ari Jensen: “Press very hard and run the court. That’s going to be huge for us. I think if we do that we can have a really solid game against them.”

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