The Pioneer Valley and Sierra Foothill leagues have a few players who I would like to bring to your attention and encourage you to a get to a game. A few are flashy while the others work hard and play the game the right way. I look forward to a great season.
Bear River - 6-foot-6 senior Justin Beskeen who has signed to play volleyball at Cal Sate Northridge in the fall delivered 4 dunks in one game including a two handed dunk in traffic. While many players can deliver an open court slam dunk, stuffing the ball in traffic always sets a player apart from the others. Dunks are fun to watch but the most impressive statistics for Beskeen is he has averaged 31 point and 7 boards while leading his team to a 4-0 start. If you would like to check out the Bruins, their first home game is scheduled for Dec. 4 when they will take on San Juan High School Frosh at 4, JV at 5:30 and Varsity at 7pm.
Placer - Isaha Pineiro, Placer football standout dropped 27 points with 11 boards in his second game of the season. He is listed at 6-foot-5, athletic and will cause problems for opposing defenses. While he has a good post up game he can also drive to the basket as well as knockdown the mid-range jumper. If you put a post player on him he will drive to the basket and if you put a smaller quicker player he will shoot over the top. The match up of the season will be when he takes on Beskeen of Bear River, which is scheduled for Jan. 17 at Placer and Feb 6. at Bear River.
Nevada Union - Ian Davis returns for his senior season as the teams leading scorer. As a junior he averaged 17 points per game. Davis played wide-receiver for the Miners football team, he stands 6-foot-3, he runs very well and can jump with the best of them. He is a tough kid who will need to carry the load if Nevada Union is to return to the playoffs. Nevada Union has started the 2012/13 season a little slow going 1-2 at the Bill Cartright Classic.
Colfax - Will Buell is a senior post player for the Falcons who stands 6-foot-7. He is not as flashy as Beskeen or Pineiro but his basketball I.Q. is second to none. He is smart and plays on a team with 6 young men who are 6-foot-4 or better so when opposing teams switch on the low-post screens Buell will have his way on the low block. Colfax plays team basketball so Buell's stats will not be as impressive as the two seniors previously mentioned. Colfax has started the season at 3-1.
Placer - BayleeVanderdose is a freshman who stands 6-foot tall who plays like a senior. While she may not be the top scorer or rebounder on the team she does have the largest up side potential of all the Hillgals. Early in the season she will need to adjust from playing 8th graders who are 13 years old to playing young women who are seniors in high school and 18 years old. She has scored in double figures as her team won the championship at the Lois Langford Invitational and carry a 4-0 record.
Colfax - Raegan Lillie a junior, has led the Lady Falcons to a 3-0 start including a Tournament championship at Galt High School. The Colfax senior post player is the team leader who scores, rebounds but the real contribution she delivers is her leadership on the court. If the Falcons are going to make waves in the Pioneer Valley League Lillie will need to find a way to motivate her younger teammates. Lillie was all league in the 2011/13 season for the Falcons.
Bear River - Kaitlyn Reina a junior, plays post for the Lady Bruins, though she stands only 5-foot-9 she plays much bigger. She is tough, athletic, boxes out well and has a nice touch near the rim. Bear River has started the season 4-0 and Reina leads the team in scoring average with 13 points per game as well as 7 rebounds per contest as well as earned MVP honors at a preseason tournament along with a championship.