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Natural born thrillers: Placer’s Lady Hillmen roll past Encina, 60-19

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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It only took two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
Baylee Vanderdoes won the opening tip-off, Kerry McCullough dished the ball off to Ariana Jensen for a 3-pointer and 42 seconds later the Placer girls had a 7-0 advantage. 
Vanderdoes and Elena Daniel scored a team-high 11 points apiece, and the Lady Hillmen picked visiting Encina’s pockets most of the game en route to a 60-19 rout Tuesday at Earl Crabbe Gym.
Kirstin Schauble had eight points on the night for Placer (5-0), including two tres, one which gave the Lady Hillmen a 21-2 lead with 2 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
“It’s really important. It sets the tone,” Placer coach Tony Camillucci said of his team’s fast start. “It seems like the scoring is the food that feeds our defense. We work harder and harder when we get a couple of cheap, easy baskets.”
The Lady Hillmen, using a stout full-court press, scored numerous easy buckets against Encina (2-2), thanks to a countless amount of forced turnovers. 
In its five games, the Placer defense has now allowed just 76 points.
“That’s the goal — to keep teams from scoring a lot,” Camillucci said. “But we’re going to play teams that are going to be really, really competitive. We’ll just keep working on our defense. We’re proud of that.”
Vanderdoes credited the team’s impressive defense to its trapping.
“They can’t get by our traps,” she said. “We’re a long team, we have long arms, we’re lanky. They can’t get past us.”
Despite the outcome of the contest, Camillucci still sees areas Placer, which plays at the Harlan Carter Tournament this weekend, can improve in. 
“We know we still have a lot to work on,” the coach said, citing long passes against the Lady Hillmen’s press as an example. “We’re not satisfied.”
Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel