By RICHARD J. MARCUS
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
SONOMA — The Analy girls’ basketball team learned a valuable lesson in Thursday night’s 48-45 first-round loss to Northgate in the Dragon Classic tournament hosted by Sonoma Valley.
The still-winless Tigers (0-4) were repeatedly burned by the Broncos (2-0) on the offensive glass. Eventually, all the extra shots by Northgate (Walnut Creek) took a toll and resulted in the tipping point in Analy’s loss.
“We didn’t rebound well. We gave up numerous offensive rebounds to them, especially late in the game,” Analy coach Earl Passamonte said. “They turned those rebounds into points and that hurt us.”
Analy drops to the consolation bracket and will play Menlo-Atherton at 8:30 p.m. today. Northgate moves to the winners’ bracket and plays Montgomery at 7 p.m. today.
The tournament — which is in its 17th year and is the longest-running girls-only tournament in the Redwood Empire — features eight teams, each guaranteed three games. The championship is at 6 p.m. Saturday. Last year’s tournament was won by Montgomery.
In other first-round action, the Vikings defeated Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 59-18, San Marin (Novato) defeated Vintage (Napa) 48-26, and Sonoma defeated Terra Linda (San Rafael) 64-20. Sonoma plays its second-round game against San Marin at 5:30 p.m. today.
One thing noticeable in Thursday’s first-round tournament action was the sparse attendance. For the Analy game there were only about 20 fans in attendance, making for a quiet backdrop, especially during play stoppage.
“It’s raining like heck tonight. A lot of it (poor attendance) is (because of) the weather, and Thursday night is a tough night,” tournament director Sil Coccia said. “Disappointed, yeah. I’d like to see a bigger crowd, but I’m not crestfallen. We should have better attendance on Friday and Saturday nights. We never get a full house for the (first-round) games.”
The Tigers started off well on Thursday, with a 12-6 lead in the first quarter. The Tigers’ defensive press worked early and caused several Broncos’ turnovers until Northgate adjusted.
“We figured out Analy’s press after (they did it) about three times,” Northgate coach Dan Middleton said. “Analy is a well-schooled, well-taught team.”
The Tigers then were outscored 20-14 in the second quarter to go into halftime tied at 26.
“Turnovers. We didn’t take care of the ball,” Passamonte said.
Analy trailed 46-44 when the Tigers’ Jenna Petray had two free-throw attempts with 5.4 seconds left. Petray missed the first free throw and hit the second.
Analy, trailing 46-45, then fouled Northgate’s Danielle Arauzo in the backcourt with 2.4 seconds left. Arauzo buried both free throws to give Northgate a three-point lead. Analy’s Alyssa Mintz missed a half-court desperation shot at the buzzer.
“That was big for a freshman to hit two clutch free throws,” Middleton said. “Nobody on either side was making shots. It was a tough go. We had to just slog through the game.”
Petray led Analy with 16 points, and Mikenna Martin scored 15.
Northgate was paced by Drew Chase’s 14 points, Arauzo with 11 points, and Maddie Casten with 10 points.
“I thought Northgate played well,” Passamonte said. “They were way more aggressive to the basket than we were. They went hard after those rebounds.”
Analy’s Jessie Davidson left the game at halftime to go the hospital and be checked out after falling twice during the first half and hitting her head, according to Passamonte.
“I told her (Jessie) to go get checked out after she felt dizzy after the second fall. She may have a concussion, I don’t know,” Passamonte said. “That one hurt us because Jessie is one of our main players.”
RESULTS & SCHEDULE
17th annual Dragon Classic
At Sonoma Valley High School
Montgomery 59, Menlo-Atherton 18
San Marin 48, Vintage 26
Sonoma 64, Terra Linda 20
Northgate 48, Analy 45
Vintage vs. Terra Linda, 4 p.m.
Analy vs. Menlo-Atherton, 8:30 p.m.
Sonoma vs. San Marin, 5:30 p.m.
Montgomery vs. Northgate, 7 p.m.