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Placer girls bounce back vs. Center

Daniel puts on dazzling performance in front of recruiters at Crabbe Gym
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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In the hotbed of recruiting that is Earl Crabbe Gym, Elena Daniel and the Lady Hillmen were on fire. 
Daniel scored 13 points, Lauren Collins chipped in with 11 and the Placer girls basketball team bounced back from a loss by torching Center, 56-35, Tuesday night in a Pioneer Valley League game. 
“Our plan is to win every game in league so that we have a chance to tie for first in league and then getting a better seed in playoffs,” said Daniel, whose Lady Hillmen (20-4, 5-2) had dropped two of their last three contests. “We want to go deep in playoffs, so every game counts.” 
Coming off a loss at Colfax, it was important for the Lady Hillmen to get back in the win column. 
“Losing to Colfax is never fun,” Daniel said. “We needed this to get back on our feet.”
Every game down the stretch will be crucial for Placer in the PVL, as Bear River and Colfax both hold league wins over Placer. 
“When you lose on Thursday that’s a really long weekend,” said Placer coach Tony Camillucci. “We did some soul-searching as a team yesterday in practice. I think we’re ready to start climbing up. We’ve been in a little bit of a funk the last couple of weeks.”
Last week Southern California Athletic Director Pat Haden was spotted at the Placer girls game. 
On Tuesday, Pac-12 women’s basketball coaches from USC and the University of Washington were on hand recruiting freshman Baylee Vanderdoes — and UCLA and Alabama football coaches were in attendance after meeting with her brother, Eddie, earlier in the day. 
Apparently the Lady Hillmen are getting used to having recruiters at their games. 
“At first the girls were like ‘Oh, my gosh!’” Camillucci said. “I think it’s good for the attention it brings to our school. You never know — they might see someone else that turns their head. That’s great. They certainly aren’t here looking at me.” 
Vanderdoes scored 10 points on the night. 
Ari Jensen had six points and Kirstin Schauble added five for Placer, which went up big early against the Cougars (10-14, 2-5) and led 36-18 at halftime. 
Daniel, who scored 15 against Colfax, was Placer’s leading scorer for the second straight contest. 
“She’s finally healthy,” said Camillucci, who added Daniel has been playing at about 50 to 60 percent in prior games. “She hasn’t been healthy all year. It’s great to have another weapon coming off the bench.”
Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel