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Placer girls hang on to beat Foothill

USC AD in attendance after Trojans offer Baylee Vanderdoes
By: By Trevor Horn / Special to the Journal
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SACRAMENTO — The true test of a basketball team is how the players respond when a leader goes down.
And the Placer girls basketball team found that out Tuesday night as the Lady Hillmen held on for a 49-48 road win over Foothill without starter Maddie Graham in a Pioneer Valley League game. 
“We missed her and Rachel Quirarte tonight,” Placer coach Tony Camillucci said.
Despite trailing Foothill by five points late in the third quarter, Placer took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Kirstin Schauble to give the Lady Hillmen a 43-42 lead with 3 minutes, 50 seconds remaining in the game.
But it came down to a missed shot by Foothill captain Elisha Anderson at the end of the game that fell short as Lauren Collins grabbed the rebound to seal the road win.
“We just needed to outrebound them, which we did at the end,” Collins said. “I was nervous but I had the energy to get (Anderson) because she was hitting every shot.”
Anderson led the game with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Anderson and Holly Woodbury (14 points, 12 rebounds) were huge reasons the Mustangs were able to keep up despite a 71-50 loss to Placer (19-3, 4-1) on Dec. 20 at the Natomas Tournament.
“We knew they were going to be better, but we didn’t know they would be this good,” Collins said.
Collins scored seven points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds as five Lady Hillmen scored at least six points.
And after 12 wins this season by at least 25 points, Camillucci said having games like this in league play are tough, but build chemistry and help a team learn.
“We have been talking a lot about mental and physical toughness,” he said. “In games like this, going through adversity, makes you tougher mentally. And that’s exactly what we needed to do.
“I think we all think we are a little better than this, but hand it to Foothill, they played great and I am not looking forward to playing them again.”
Freshman Baylee Vanderdoes, who was offered a basketball scholarship by Southern California last Friday, scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds for Placer with USC athletic director Pat Haden in the stands.
“I wouldn’t have gotten (the offer) if I didn’t have the teammates I do now,” Vanderdoes said. “It really helps because I have great teammates.”
Kerry McCullough and Elena Daniel led Placer with 10 points apiece.