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Placer girls romp past Rio Americano, set to play Bear River in tourney finale

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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After getting off to a slow start Thursday, the Lady Hillmen came out on fire Friday.

Kerry McCullough had 12 points and a ton of assists, Baylee Vanderdoes scored 11 and Placer romped to a 63-40 victory over Rio Americano to reach the championship game of their own Coach “G” Memorial Tournament.

“I think it was the home crowd,” McCullough said of her team jumping out to a 19-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. “… The band had a lot to do with it. When there’s a lot of energy in the gym, we’re able to feed off that.”

Placer (10-1) faces unbeaten Pioneer Valley League foe Bear River (9-0) for the Coach “G” title Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

“It will be a very big game,” McCullough said. “They’re a very good team. It will be the best team we’ve played this year. So we hope to go out and show them what we got.”

Said Placer coach Tony Camillucci: “They’re very good, very well coach, very physical. That’s what you want in a championship game at your own tournament. We hope we get a big crowd. We’re very excited.”

Against Rio Americano, Placer continued to find scoring from multiple sources. Kirstin Schauble scored nine points, Lauren Collins eight and Elena Daniel seven.

The Lady Hillmen took a 39-21 lead into the break even after Rio knocked down three straight 3-pointers. Placer held Rio to just six points in the third quarter, but was outscored 13-10 in the final frame.

For updates on the Coach “G” Memorial Tournament throughout the weekend, follow Matthew Kimel at twitter.com/matthewkimel or search for #coachgtournament