Placer puts clamps on Colfax
COLFAX — Even with its top two scorers blanketed for much of the night, the Placer High boys basketball team managed to turn in a gem of a game Thursday night.
Meanwhile Colfax suffered through a perfect storm of turnovers, foul trouble and poor shooting in its latest loss.
The Hillmen snapped a three-game losing skid with a 53-41 win over the rival Falcons. Placer needed a big effort to stay in the playoff hunt and got it, but not from the usual sources.
Peter Kean drilled a pair of 3-pointers and five free throws to finish with 11 points. Alec Knox attacked the glass for eight rebounds to go with 11 points. Michael McNamara added 10 for the Hillmen.
Defensively, senior Michael Wieblehaus was key as he helped keep Colfax standout Will Buell in check.
“Wieblehaus had almost a perfect game on defense,” said senior Cody Riggs, who had seven points and three steals of his own. “He did a really good job on Buell and everyone played really well. It was a really good team effort.”
Colfax started strong despite two early fouls on senior guard Luke Beninga. The Falcons led 14-8 after one quarter, but the Hillmen came back to tie it at halftime, 21-21.
Placer took control in the third quarter. Knox scored seven of the visitors’ 20 points in the third, including a putback that beat the buzzer and gave the Hillmen a 41-32 lead heading into the fourth.
Riggs picked up his fourth foul with 7 minutes, 8 seconds left in the game and the outcome still in doubt. But Kean helped control the tempo and Placer’s defense continued to stymie the Falcons. Kean scored five straight points to spark a 9-0 run as the Hillmen put the game away and improved to 3-4 in the Pioneer Valley League.
“We had lost three in a row and we had to get a win to have a chance at the playoffs,” Riggs said. “We only had four turnovers in the game and we played great defense.”
The Falcons’ miserable PVL campaign continued as they fell to 0-6. Junior Matt Larsen scored a game-high 13, Buell finished with 11 and Beninga had eight.
Foothill 61, Bear River 53 at Lake of the Pines — The PVL–leading Mustangs cooled off the Bruins, ending Bear River’s three-game winning streak.
Junior Justin Beskeen scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bruins (3-4 PVL), but it wasn’t enough against a balanced Foothill (7-0). Jonny Cassar added 12 points, Trevor McGhee scored nine and Brandon Wooner tossed in eight along with 12 rebounds.