Placer-Bear River girls game could decide PVLBy: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
Tonight’s matchup between the Lady Hillmen and the Bear River girls basketball team could determine the outcome of the Pioneer Valley League.
For Placer, which has lost twice to the Lady Bruins in Auburn, the third time could be a charm.
Or, it could mean three strikes and they’re out of the race for the PVL crown.
Bear River (22-2, 7-1) beat Placer (21-4, 6-2) 58-55 on Dec. 15 in the non-league Coach “G” Memorial Tournament title game and then again on Jan. 18 in PVL action, 48-42. Both games were held at Placer’s Earl Crabbe Gym.
In the Coach “G” match, Kaitlyn Reina had 24 points and Cindy Solomon dropped four 3-pointers to help pace the Lady Bruins to victory. In the PVL game, Reina had a team-high 15 points while Teryn Rath added 10.
Today’s 7 p.m. tilt will tip-off at Jack McCrory Gym.
Last week, Lady Hillmen coach Tony Camillucci wouldn’t go as far as calling the Placer-Bear River contest the biggest game of his team’s season.
“We want to win as many games as we can and get a higher seed so we can get a top-four seed and get a couple of home games (in the playoffs),” Camillucci said after his team beat Lincoln, 61-39, Thursday night.
“We’re going to approach it like it’s another game. When we get too pumped up it doesn’t seem to work. So we’re going to approach it with the same work ethic we’ve had all year and go into it like it’s any other game for us.”
Bear River coach Jeff Bickmore, whose team’s only league loss occurred at Colfax, took a different approach to explain the significance of the finale league game against Placer. “We have to try and win out so we’d be assured of the league championship,” Bickmore said after his team beat Colfax 58-23 Thursday night. “Our destiny is in our hands.
“… If we win (against Placer) we’ll win league all by ourselves. If we lose, we’ll probably have a three-way tie between us, Placer and Colfax.”