Boys basketball: Windsor rallies to beat Healdsburg

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

WINDSOR — The Jaguars’ sticky zone defense, anchored by 6-foot-9 Tanner Giddings, kept Healdsburg’s top two gunners scoreless and the home team did just enough offensively to notch a 39-28 victory in a Sonoma County League boys basketball game Friday night.

Windsor's Tanner Giddings led the Jaguars with 14 points. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat)

Not only did the Windsor defense stop Kevin MacLachlan and Peter Nelsen from scoring, the Greyhounds only put four points on the board in the final quarter.

The Jaguars, meanwhile, scored 17 and that was more than enough to overcome their five-point halftime deficit. Mac-Lachlan and Nelsen both came into the game averaging more than 10 points a game.

Giddings had 17 rebounds and seven blocks to go along with his 14 points. The junior clogged the middle, continually making the Healdsburg players rush shots while limiting them to one shot at the basket.

“Our team defense was good all night,” Giddings said. “We just couldn’t get the shots to fall until the fourth quarter. The open shots were there, we just missed a lot of opportunities.”

The defense has been solid all season for Windsor as the Jaguars are allowing only 43 points per game. Offensively, they are scoring 52 a game while posting a 13-8 overall record and 5-3 in league.

Windsor enjoyed a height advantage and won the rebounding battle, 47-21. Starting up front with Giddings were 6-foot-5 Garrett Hansen and 6-foot-4 Shane Hardisty.

Healdsburg countered with 6-foot-4 Nelsen and 6-foot-2 players MacLachlan and Joe Pedroni.

“It wasn’t pretty but we’ll take it,” winning coach Steve Kramer said. “The shots were there all night for us, we missed a lot of easy ones. The defense kept us in the game until the offense finally got going in the fourth quarter.”

The Jaguars scored only four points in the second and eight in the third.

Healdsburg nailed 3-point shots as time expired in the first and second quarters. Joey Miller connected at the end of the first and then Cameron Lutz banked one in just before halftime.

The Greyhounds, despite scoring only five points in the third, still led 24-22 going into the fourth.

“I can’t fault my players’ effort,” Healdsburg coach Travis Taylor said. “They played hard, but we rushed our shots in transition. We put up a lot of shots without working the ball around for a better shot.”

The sight of Giddings in the middle made the Greyhounds rush.

“He’s a helluva player,” Taylor said. “He’s improved a lot this season and will be a big-time player next year.”

Taylor coached the Windsor junior varsity one season before taking the Healdsburg job two years ago.

Giddings weighs 205, 10 pounds more than as a sophomore.

“I have to get tougher and part of that is getting stronger,” Giddings said. “I’ve been working with weights and I think the extra 10 pounds is muscle. I’m definitely playing more physical basketball.”

Healdsburg double-teamed Giddings the entire game and tried unsuccessfully to box him out at both ends of the court.

McAlvain had a solid game for Windsor, scoring 10 points and helping put the clamps on Healdsburg’s outside shoooters.

“He was solid,” coach Kramer said. “He did his job as point guard, getting our big front-line good looks at the basket. He was a spark for us all night.”

Friday game drew a standing room only crowd. When the teams met Jan. 7 in Healdsburg, Windsor prevailed, 43-41.

Miller had 16 for the Greyhounds while three teammates provided the remaining 12 points.

Healdsburg is 8-12 and 2-5 in SCL.