Empire Basketball Teams Among NCS Best

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

Analy and Montgomery lead four Sonoma County teams in the latest North Coast Section boys’ basketball rankings, and the Montgomery girls remain ranked among the section’s best.

Ben Freeland

Despite a Sonoma County League loss to Casa Grande, the Analy Tigers are ranked higher at No. 10 in the NCS Boys Top 20 from PrepFeed.com. Analy – 17-4 overall and 6-1 in league play – also is ranked No. 15 in the state Division 3 poll.

North Bay League leader Montgomery is ranked No. 11 in the section poll. The Vikings – 18-2/8-0 – are No. 10 in the state Division 2 poll.

Unbeaten in SCL play, Casa Grande is No. 16 in the section poll with a 17-4 overall record and 7-0 in the league.

Right behind is Cardinal Newman at No. 17 in the section poll. The Cardinals – 15-4/7-1 – are No. 13 in the state Division 4 rankings.

The lone Empire entry in the NCS girls’ basketball rankings is Montgomery at No. 16. The Vikings – 18-3 overall and 9-0 in the North Bay League, also are No. 24 in the state Division 2 poll.

With two weeks to go in regular season play, the Empire’s top large school teams still face challenges as they prepare for league playoffs and the section finals.

Casa Grande and Analy meet again, this time in Sebastopol on Wednesday. The Gauchos also face cross town rival Petaluma at home to finish regular season play. The Tigers still must get past Windsor at home and Sonoma Valley on the road, two other strong SCL teams.

In the NBL, the Vikings and Cardinals match up again at Montgomery on Feb. 7. Montgomery also faces tough tests on the road against Ukiah and at Maria Carrillo. Cardinal Newman also visits Maria Carrillo.

For the lady Vikings, home games against Maria Carrillo and Santa Rosa bookend a visit to Ursuline, the three top competitors for the league title.