Buell, McCullough are PVL hoops MVPsBy: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
Colfax’s Will Buell and Placer’s Kerry McCullough were recently voted as the 2013 Pioneer Valley League basketball MVPs by the league’s coaches.
Buell, a 6-foot-7 force to be reckoned with inside the paint and downtown threat as well, was the key piece for the Falcon boys who went 8-2 in PVL play en route to winning the league title outright.
McCullough, a 5-2 point guard who could run up and down the court for days, assisted in helping her Lady Hillmen earn a share of the PVL girls crown.
Colfax boys coach Mike O’Connell considered it a great honor for Buell to get the recognition.
“I think Will is very deserving,” said O’Connell, who was selected as the PVL boys Coach of the Year. “He can play all five positions. He’s not only a post player but also a three-point shooter. He creates a lot of problems for other teams.
“He’s a good kid and he has good grades. He exemplifies what an MVP should be.”
Though opponents knew the Colfax offense went through Buell, he still managed to score in double digits with ease.
“He faced double teams and still had success,” O’Connell said of the senior Buell. “Without him, we wouldn’t have had the same success this year.”
Placer coach Tony Camillucci, the Coach of the Year on the girls side, was glad McCullough was rewarded for her hard work.
“It’s great. I love it when a kid really practices and stays late and shoots on the weekend,” Camillucci said, referring to McCullough, who was also chosen to play in the upcoming Sacramento Optimist all-star game.
“She went to a point guard academy two summers in a row. She studied 40 pages of hand-written notes. It’s nice to see it pay off for a kid who put in that much time.”
An abundance of locals received all-league honors. The all-league PVL girls team was of foothill flavor.
Kaitlyn Reina, Savannah Welz and Sarah Hagar of Bear River, which shared the league title with Placer and Colfax, were among the selections.
Colfax representatives included Amber Tobiasz and Raegan Lillie, while Placer placed Ari Jensen and Lauren Collins on the team.
Several local ladies were also named as honorable mentions, including Placer freshman Baylee Vanderdoes. Among the honorable mentions were Placer’s Elena Daniel, Bear River’s Cindy Solomon and Teryn Rath and Colfax’s Kaila Tremoureux and Taylor Avila.
The boys all-league team features Bear River’s Justin Beskeen, Colfax’s Matt Larson and Taylor Dorsey, and Placer’s Isaiah Pineiro.
Local second team all-league selections were Colfax’s Jordan Balser, Paul Ramseth and David Campbell and Placer’s Peter Kean and Michael McNamara.
Pineiro, along with Buell and Del Oro’s Trevor Pistochini, will play in the upcoming boys Optimist hoops game.
This year marked the second time Camillucci and O’Connell have won a Coach of the Year award. Ironically, the two coaches had the same exact response when asked what the award meant to them.
“It’s nice to be recognized by your peers,” they said.