NBL-SCL Shootout is Monday

The North Bay League-Sonoma County League Shootout, on its way to becoming a girls’ basketball tradition on the MLK Holiday, will feature five games today at Petaluma High.
Doug Johnson, coach of the Trojans, put on the event for the first time last year and just as in 2010, there’s heavy participation from the two leagues. All but three teams from the NBL will see action, while only two SCL schools are missing.
“Next year, I’d like to see all teams from both leagues play,” Johnson said. “That way it would be a true league challenge day. We also want to rotate the hosting from year to year. One year an NBL team, the next at an SCL school.”
The action begins at 1 p.m. with Healdsburg (9-8 overall, 0-4 SCL) and Elsie Allen (1-12, 1-3 NBL) colliding.
That will be followed at 2:30 p.m. by Analy (10-5, 3-0 SCL) and Santa Rosa (11-5, 4-1 NBL); Sonoma Valley (10-6, 2-2 SCL) vs. Maria Carrillo (9-6, 4-1 NBL) at 4 p.m.; Casa Grande (10-7, 2-2 SCL) against Montgomery (13-3, 5-0 NBL) at 5:30 p.m., and Petaluma (7-8, 2-1 SCL) vs. Rancho Cotate (6-9, 2-3 NBL) at 7 p.m.
Last year, four of the five match-ups provided close finishes, and that figures to be the case today.
On paper, Sonoma and Carrillo look to be even. Both teams play excellent defense, but have had trouble scoring.
The Dragons got off to a 2-0 start in the SCL, before dropping home games to Windsor (39-35) and Analy (39-28). Carrillo is averaging 40 points per game and has won four of five.
“We’ll try a few new things to pick up the offense,” Sonoma coach Sil Coccia said. “We just have trouble shooting the ball.
“I’ve seen film on Maria Carrillo and they seem to have a similar problem. Both teams play good defense and always compete hard for 32 minutes, so I’m thinking it will be a close game.”
Ellie Ceja has been Sonoma’s most productive scorer with an 11-point average, while Annie Studdert is hitting at a 9-point clip.
The Pumas went on the road to defeat Santa Rosa on Saturday night, 50-47, in one of their best efforts of the season.
Near the midway point, Montgomery leads the NBL with a 5-0 record while Carrillo and Santa Rosa are both 4-1.
Analy and Windsor are atop the SCL with 3-0 records.
The Tigers, defending league champs, have won nine in a row. Some thought it would be a down year for the team from Sebastopol after they lost Jen Tsurumoto, All-Empire Player of the Year, to graduation.
However, Katy Lowry has picked up the slack by averaging 17 per game, and the team defense has improved.
“We have a very good team,” coach Earl Pasamonte said recently. “It’s different than last year when we were so dependent on Tsurumoto for our scoring. Now, we have four or five girls capable of having big scoring games.
“The defense has been solid, playing as a unit and helping each other on coverage.”
Tsurumoto is playing for Santa Rosa JC this year.