Windsor loses touch at free-throw line, but still wins

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

HEALDSBURG — Windsor took advantage of its superior height and long scoring droughts by the host Greyhounds to post a 43-41 Sonoma County League victory Friday night.

Windsor's Kameron Kiech, left, and Healdsburg's James Haun fight for a loose ball during the game held at Healdsburg High School, Jan. 7, 2011. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat)

The Jaguars were as cold as the weather early and late, but built up such a large lead in the middle quarters they were able to hold on.

Poor foul shooting by Windsor, especially in the fourth quarter, allowed the Greyhounds to make it close. After checking the stat sheet and seeing that his team made six of 22 attempts from the foul line for the game and one of 10 in the fourth quarter, coach Steve Kramer could only shake his head.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game where a team won shooting free throws as poorly as we did,” Kramer said. “We were lucky to win.”

The Jaguars looked to be on cruise control after getting their first lead (15-12) in the waning seconds of the second quarter. Casey Myers’ 3-point basket put Windsor in front.

Healdsburg scored the first points of the third quarter, but then Shane Hardisty gave Windsor a cushion by scoring five straight points in less than a minute. The 6-foot-4 senior scored on two offensive-rebound putbacks and a foul shot that gave Windsor a 20-14 lead.

The Jags increased the margin to 31-16 going to the final quarter.

Healdsburg scored only eight points in the second and third quarters as Windsor’s zone defense kept the Greyhounds from getting into an offensive rhythm.

That changed in the final eight minutes as Healdsburg outscored Windsor 25-12.

“We started defending better in the fourth and our press paid off with several easy baskets,” said Healdsburg coach Travis Taylor. “Zone defenses have given us trouble all year and Windsor’s height edge forced us to alter shots.”

Windsor started a front line of 6-foot-9 Tanner Giddings, 6-foot-5 Garrett Hansen and Hardisty. Healdsburg’s tallest starter was 6-foot-4 Peter Nelsen.

Windsor led 38-26 with two minutes remaining. Healdsburg scored 10 unanswered points to cut the lead to two, keyed by baskets from James Haun and Joe Pedroni.

A basket by Christian McAlvain and a free throw by Giddings put Windsor back up 41-36 with 44 seconds remaining, only to have Nelsen bury a 3-pointer 20 seconds later.

Windsor quickly responded when Josh Anderson found Hardisty ahead of the pack for a layup. Nelson then hit a shot at the buzzer to make it a two-point final.

Hardisty was Windsor’s top scorer with 11. Giddings and Kameron Richardson each had eight rebounds. Richardson, a 6-foot-6 junior, had eight blocks.

The Jaguars have won eight of nine and are 9-5. It was their league opener.

Healdsburg is 7-9 and 0-2 in league. Joey Miller led the Greyhounds with 14 points. Nelsen finished with 13 and Pedroni 12.