Analy, minus Fujii, beats Healdsburg in OT

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

HEALDSBURG — With Max Fujii, the Empire’s leading scorer, in street clothes because of injuries, teammate Eli Alcantar picked up the slack and boosted visiting Analy to a 52-51 overtime victory here Saturday night.

Analy's Max Fujii, right, missed his second straight game Saturday with a wrist injury. Photo by Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat

Alcantar capped his 27-point effort by nailing two free throws with 33 seconds remaining in OT to give Analy the Sonoma County League victory. Peter Nelsen had put Healdsburg up by one with a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left.

The Greyhounds took a 42-30 lead into the fourth quarter, but Analy’s full-court press and shot blocking by 6-foot-5 Geddy Dukes and 6-7 Nathan Molony-Benjamin allowed the Tigers to come back and tie the score at 46 to force overtime.

Fujii (25.5 points per game) and Alcantar (13.7) have been Analy’s one-two punch all season, so it wasn’t surprising Alcantar picked up the slack for his missing teammate.
Nelsen finished with 26 while Kevin Mac-Lachlan added 10 for the Greyhounds (9-14 overall and 3-7 in league).

This was the second game Fujii has missed since severely spraining the wrist on his shooting arm and bruising ribs Wednesday in a loss to Casa Grande.

“I hope to be able to play next week, but we’ll have to see how the wrist feels,” Fujii said Saturday. “I’ve been icing to get the swelling down, but I don’t have any range of motion.
“I had X-rays at Kaiser and the good news was there’s no fracture. The doctor said that only rest will strengthen the wrist.”

Analy has two games left in the regular season, Wednesday at El Molino and Friday at home vs. Windsor.
If the Tigers finish second, third or fourth in league, they will play in the SCL Tournament the week of February 14.

After that, it’s the first round of North Coast Section playoffs. Analy will play either Feb. 22 or 23.
“Max is our team leader on offense and defense,” coach Brett Page said. “We need him, but at this point, we can only wait to see how quickly he can get the strength back in the wrist.”

According to Page, the 5-foot-8, 150-pound Fujii was planted after setting a screen when a Casa defender ran over him while trying to break through the pick.
“Max had his arms against his chest,” Page said. “When he went down, I think the Casa player, who weighs a lot more, came down on him.”

During the Fujii era, Analy won 26 straight SCL games before losing to Casa Grande when the teams first met on Jan. 12.
The Tigers are 32-3 playing in Sebastopol since Fujii joined the varsity as a sophomore.
If he does not play another high school game, he can find solace that he made it to the 1,500-point plateau. Fujii’s final point Wednesday against Casa put him at 1,501.

He has been remarkably accurate from behind the 3-point arc. The guard has nailed 265 of 546 attempts in his varsity career, a 48 percent average.