Elk Grove High School
Lady Herd Basketball

Elk Grove, California



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In the News

This page includes a collection of newspaper articles
and other news related to Lady Herd Basketball.

Sacramento Bee

How a regional upstart overcame the loss of 3 key players to ACL injuries and got better
By Joe Davidson

February 15, 2019 05:01 PM, Updated February 15, 2019 05:01 PM

Trisha Campbell has led the Elk Grove girls basketball team to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals despite the loss of three players to ACL injuries. "I am extremely proud," she says.

This team had every reason to stall this season of promise.

The Elk Grove High School girls basketball program entered the campaign still reeling from the loss of its beloved coach, Larry Price, who died shortly after last season from heart failure at 61.

New Thundering Herd coach Trisha Campbell took over and saw a fast start to the season jolted by the loss of three key players due to ACL injuries - Leticia Perez, Keyara McCoy and Amayia Evans.

Campbell, also in her first year teaching English at Elk Grove, was joined by Thundering Herd point guard Rylie Hardin in a show of support before each player underwent knee surgery.

"It just takes an emotional toll on your team, including me," Campbell said of the player losses. "But people have stepped up. These girls have been through a lot and yet are still showing heart and strength through it all. I am extremely proud."

The good vibes continue. Fifth-seeded Elk Grove on Thursday night in Loomis eliminated No. 4 Del Oro 63-47 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II quarterfinal as Maya Chelini scored 16 points, Hardin 13, Amani Britton 11 and Mele Finau 10.

And now the next challenge: Elk Grove (20-7) visits top-seeded Antelope (28-2) on Tuesday in a semifinal, eager to reach a section final for the first time.

Elk Grove players can turn to their coach for guidance in dealing with big games. Campbell coached her alma mater, Dublin High, to the 2014-15 North Coast Section championship, the first in 20 years for the program. Dublin then beat, of all teams, Del Oro 59-54 in a CIF Northern California Division II opener, eventually reaching the final.

Elk Grove Citizen

Elk Grove girls basketball keeps coach in their hearts with an eye on playoffs
By James Darnell, Citizen Sports Writer
February 1, 2019

It has been a season of transition for the Elk Grove Lady Herd varsity basketball program. Yet as they look ahead toward a trip to the CIF Sac Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, the team can't help but reflect on what has happened during the past year that has brought them to this point.

On March 12, 2018, beloved Lady Herd basketball coach Larry Price died due to complications of a ruptured artery in his lungs after a long fight with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Price, who affectionately referred to the team as "his girls," has been on the minds and hearts of the players he last coached at Elk Grove, who have taken the court this season with the goal in mind to make their former mentor proud.

If he could see them now, he would be.

Despite a hard-fought 63-61 overtime loss at St. Francis on Tuesday, Elk Grove (16-7 overall, 5-5 Delta League) finds itself in the driver's seat as it pertains to the fourth and final playoff spot awarded to Delta League teams. The Lady Herd are up two games in the league standings on fifth place St. Francis with two games remaining in the regular season, and can't help but think about Price with every achievement this year.

"We want to win everything for him," Lady Herd junior guard and team captain Rylie Hardin said about the team's mindset this year. Hardin, who played for Price the previous two seasons, also referenced how the team has embraced new head coach Trisha Campbell during her first year with the program. "We want to win for us too, and for Coach Campbell. She's been amazing. It all comes into play."

Against the Troubadours (11-14 overall, 3-6 Delta League) Tuesday, Elk Grove put forth an effort that would make any coach ecstatic. After not leading at any point during the first three quarters and trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half, the Lady Herd ultimately tied the game at 40 midway through the fourth quarter after a 7-0 run. Hardin scored 10 of her team-leading 20 points in the final minutes of regulation to help force overtime.

St. Francis also would help push the game into overtime, although not in the way they wanted. Trailing 55-54 with 3.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Troubadour sophomore guard Mackenzie Le stepped to the free throw line with a chance to potentially seal the game. After knocking down the first free throw, however, the second clanked off the right side of the rim and Hardin would snag the rebound, forcing the game into overtime as the clock expired.

Unfortunately for the Lady Herd, however, Le wouldn't pass up the opportunity to win the game for her team a second time. In overtime, Le scored all of St. Francis' eight points. Yet with 6.5 seconds remaining, Le stepped to the free throw line with her team up two points and a chance to put the game out of reach. Le would miss both free throws, with Hardin sprinting upcourt with the ball in her hands after a rebound. Hardin's three-pointer at the buzzer went off rim, however, giving St. Francis the victory.

Despite the close loss, Campbell couldn't have been more proud of how her team performed "There's no reason for them to beat themselves up over this tough loss," she said. "They worked their butts off and I'm proud of their effort."

Junior Maya Chelini came up big with 18 points for Elk Grove, and sophomore Amani Britton added 15. For St. Francis, Le led the Troubadours with 18 points, and senior guard Nika Bagatelos chipped in 12 points on four three-pointers.

In her first year at the helm, Campbell has had the unenviable task of filling the void left behind by the passing of Price, but has done a remarkable job given the adversity the team has faced.

"He meant a lot to the girls," Campbell said of Price. "He had a huge impact on them. I in no way wanted to come in and step on anybody's toes in that situation, and they absolutely play for him."

Campbell, who previously spent the past six years coaching at Dublin High School in the Bay Area, has also had to manage issues on the court.

"We've had injuries and that's really been a blow to us this season," she added. "But where we're at right now, I'm proud of where they are at. I'm proud of the work they're putting in. People are having to step up, and I like our odds right now headed into playoffs."

The Lady Herd have played well for Campbell this year, and will look to continue to do so as they close out the regular season and move toward the playoffs. But according to Hardin, the team still can feel the impact that Price made on the program.

"She (Coach Campbell) has been holding it down for us," Hardin said. "But he's still there every once in a while."

Elk Grove High School
9800 Elk Grove-Florin Road
Elk Grove, California 95624
(916) 686-7741
Last Updated: April 19, 2019