Shootout bragging rights go to SCL

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

PETALUMA — Maria Carrillo played a nearly flawless final nine minutes of basketball to break open a tie game and defeat Sonoma Valley, 48-33, in one of five games Monday in the second annual North Bay League-Sonoma County Shootout.

Maria Carrillo's Taylor Graham drives around Sonoma's Emily Edwards. Photo by Jeff Kan Lee / The Press Democrat

However, bragging rights this year belong to the SCL, whose teams won three of the five matchups. That edge wasn’t secured until the nightcap when the host Trojans edged Rancho Cotate, 51-48, in double overtime.

Healdsburg got the SCL off to a good start, defeating Elsie Allen, 48-16. Then, Analy (SCL) handled Santa Rosa, 53-40. The NBL took the next two games as Maria Carrillo’s victory was followed by Montgomery’s come-from-behind 42-32 win over Casa Grande.

Carrillo and Sonoma were tied at 29 when the Pumas started a 19-4 run that turned the game into a runaway. Guard Taylor Graham made a lay-up with a minute to go in the third quarter to put the Pumas ahead for good.
Sara Irvine then scored six straight to open the fourth and the Dragons never recovered.

“I think we wore ’em down,” winning coach Steve Azevedo said. “We started getting nearly all the rebounds because we were successful in boxing out. On the defensive end, some of those rebounds led to fast-break points.”
Even though neither team enjoyed a height advantage, Carrillo had 39 rebounds while holding Sonoma to 19.

“It was our worst rebounding game of the year,” Dragons coach Sil Coccia said. “Give Carrillo credit, they got good position underneath, especially in the fourth quarter. We were getting one shot on our end of the court and they were getting multiple attempts on their end.“Carrillo did a much better job of executing. My team didn’t have the energy or intensity to match them.”
The Pumas have won five of six after starting the season 5-5.
“I think confidence has a lot to do with our turnaround,” said Graham. “Our coach believes in us and we know what we need to do to be successful.”

Graham led the balanced Carrillo attack with 11 points. The junior also had eight rebounds, seven steals and four assists.
Sophomore Mikaela Francis contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Aaliyah Sowards, who scored six points and pulled down seven rebounds, said playing smart enabled the Pumas to outscore Sonoma Valley, 17-3, in the final quarter.

“In tight games earlier in the season, we’d lose focus and rush,” she said. “Now that we’re gaining confidence, we’re playing smart. In the fourth quarter, we took our time waiting for a good look at the basket, and on defense we communicated with each other.”

Analy’s victory was most impressive as the Tigers were missing three front-line players. The girls are on a school-sponsored trip and will return today. Coach Earl Pasamonte hopes the trio will be back in time for tonight’s home game with Windsor. Both teams are unbeaten in league.
Katy Lowry picked up the slack on Monday, scoring 21 as the Tigers won their 10th straight and are 11-5.
Savannah McNichol and Kristina Brockmann each scored six while getting extended playing time.

“They both played great,” Pasamonte said. “We needed them to step up on offense and defense and they came through.”
McKennan Bertsch led Santa Rosa (11-6) with 12 points, and Hannah Sourek tossed in nine.
Montgomery overcame a seven-point deficit after three quarters to get its victory. The Vikings outscored Casa, 23-6, in the final stanza.

“In the end, the bigger, tougher team got the got offensive rebounds, the good shots and the free throws,” Gauchos coach Dan Sack said.
The Vikings hit seven of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter; Casa didn’t get to the foul line until the final 30 seconds.
Anandi Jimenez led Montgomery (14-3) with 16 points, all her field goals coming on lay-ups from the left side.
Lyndsey Murnin had 14 for the Gauchos (10-8).