Analy girls expected higher seed

By PHIL BARBER

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Analy girls took a 20-game winning streak into the Sonoma County League tournament final, but were upended by Casa Grande, 44-35. The way Tigers coach Earl Pasamonte sees it, that one loss might have cost his team dearly.
“We’re disappointed,” Pasamonte said after learning Analy drew the No. 6 seed in the North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs. “Even with the loss last (Saturday) night, we thought we were at least a five. It’s not easy to put together a 20-game win streak, and it’s not like we dodged anyone along the way. We beat Santa Rosa by 15. We beat Casa twice by double digits.”
The good news for the Tigers: Because they were league champions, they would get home-court advantage against either No. 2 Campolindo or No. 3 Miramonte, two teams they’ll probably have to beat if they are to reach the division championship game.
Home court can be especially advantageous for Analy. If the girls win in the first round, they’ll be playing a double-header with the boys’ team in Sebastopol on Friday. That would likely mean a packed house, and a supremely hostile environment for an Orinda team like Miramonte.
The highest-seeded girls’ teams in the Empire are Tomales (No. 1 in Div. 6), Rincon Valley Christian (No. 2 in Div. 5), Santa Rosa (No. 3 in Div. 2), Montgomery (No. 4 in Div. 2), Sonoma Academy (No. 4 in Div. 5) and Potter Valley (No. 4 in Div. 6).
The action begins Tuesday night. There will be two all-Empire bouts on Wednesday — No. 8 Ursuline at No. 9 Cloverdale in Div. 4, and No. 9 Point Arena at No. 8 Rio Lindo Adventist in Div. 6.
Potter Valley will host No. 5 Round Valley in a second-round game Saturday, in a division that is guaranteed of placing one Empire team in the final. An entire half of the Div. 6 bracket is made up of teams from Sonoma or Mendocino county.
The best local rivalry this year was probably Santa Rosa vs. Montgomery, the Panthers taking the rubber match with a hard-fought 48-41 victory in the North Bay League tournament final on Friday. Both teams are in NCS Div. 2, but wouldn’t meet until the final game.
As for Analy, Pasamonte is hoping the recent loss to Casa serves as a late-season wake-up call.
“We 100-percent got complacent (Saturday) night,” he acknowledged. “I don’t believe I’m cocky, but I really feel like we are one of the better defensive teams around, and even that aspect didn’t look tight. But I love this group of girls. They’re smart, they work hard and I think they’ll right the ship.”