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Wildfires catching on after playoff breakthrough

Foresthill girls look to build no first-ever playoff victory
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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FORESTHILL — The Foresthill High girls basketball program broke new ground for the school’s athletic department last season. The Wildfires went on the road to post the first playoff victory in any sport, creating a buzz in the town and starting a wave of momentum that carried into t his season. “The playoff win was huge for the school,” senior Jessie Anderson said. “A lot of people in town weren’t able to see it so hopefully this year we can get a home playoff game and the town can come out and see it.” Foresthill might be drawing big crowds soon if it continues its hot start to the season. The Wildfires are 5-0, sparked by a host of returning players and multi-talented newcomer Sadie Stroup. A 5-9 freshman forward, Stroup is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds per game. “She’s tall, she’s fast and she can shoot,” junior Sarah Dondelinger said of Stroup. “She came in kind of shy, but within the first few minutes of our first game we knew she was good.” Dondelinger is a defensive stopper in the backcourt. She teams up with speedy Trysta Ferguson to give the Wilfires experience and quickness at the guard spot. Juniors Rylee Hackley and Kait Sly are versatile and aggressive as forwards. An experienced AAU player, Stroup said her new Foresthill team has excelled on the defensive end during its undefeated start to the year. “We’re really good on defense,” she said. “We get a lot of steals. We’re quick as a team.” Coach Tim Dadigan is hoping Anderson will be available for Central Valley Christian League play. She suffered an ACL tear last season and another knee injury earlier this month has sidelined her for the last three games. The lone senior on the team was scheduled to have an MRI on her injured knee this week. Sophomore Cheyenne Williams and juniors Megan O’Brien and Jessica Satterlee have also contributed for Foresthill, which will play in a consolation game Saturday as a fill-in team at Del Oro’s Lady Eagle Invitational. The Wildfires should get a major test against a larger school in their final tuneup before league play begins in January. “We’re where we want to be,” Ferguson said. “But we also want to play against harder teams and get some more experience.”