Falcons probing for wings

Colfax headed in right direction under new head coach Campbell
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Service
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First-year coach Dave Campbell wasn’t planning on using the preseason as a measuring stick to find out what he thinks his Colfax High girls basketball team can do once Pioneer Valley League play begins next month. But off to a 2-4 start and with rugged tournaments at Del Oro and Folsom still on the horizon this month, Campbell and the Falcons may have to switch to Plan B. “It’s taking a little longer than I expected,” Campbell said. “We’re trying to probe and find our strengths and weaknesses. We actually played three good games at Oroville last week so that was a plus.” Campbell steps into the head coaching post at Colfax after being a varsity assistant with the program the last two years and tutoring the school’s JV teams for five seasons before that. After last season when the school didn’t rehire Dan Hicks, Campbell was tagged to be at the girls reins. “I think we’re making steps in the right direction,” the coach said. “We showed better chemistry at Oroville and the girls are starting to get a feel for what we’re trying to do.” The Falcons claimed the consolation title in Oroville Saturday, romping Wheatland 49-19. Senior guard Audrey Lewis, who led a balanced attack with 12 points in the game, is one of four returners who saw plenty of action on last season’s 17-11 team. Junior post player Michelle Walker, junior guard April Littlejohn and senior swing player Cassandra Campbell, the coach’s daughter who can score both inside and out, are the other three with experience. Not blessed this season with a lot of size, the Falcons will be turning to an up-tempo running and pressing attack to better utilize their quickness. “We have some players that can get up and down the court,” Campbell said. “We’re not a bad shooting team, we just aren’t real big down low.” In its six games this season, the Colfax contingent has shown a balanced attack with eight different players taking turns in leading the offense. Also in the playing mix for the Falcons are senior guard Kaci Capuchino and sophomore guard Hailey Biles, who earned all-tournament honors at Oroville. Depth for Colfax should be provided by Emily Colon, Lindsay Larson, Krysti McAllister, Erica Heikila and Cathy Hinrichs. All have provided Campbell with strong minutes thus far. As far as the PVL goes, Campbell gives El Dorado the preseason favorite’s nod but thinks that the Cougars could be pressed for the top spot by a host of upset-minded contenders. “I think you could throw a blanket over Bear River, Placer, Whitney and ourselves,” Campbell said. “El Dorado is the favorite but they shouldn’t plan on taking any nights off in league this year.”