By PETER FOURNIER
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
SONOMA — Defense and teamwork. That’s what the Montgomery High girls basketball team said was its winning formula in capturing the Dragons Classic Tournament championship over San Marin 55-32 at Sonoma Valley High School on Saturday.
“I think we did a really good job of working on the defense this tournament,” Vikings coach Steve Bell. “They helped quite a bit out there, and they communicated really well. I think our rotations were good.”
Montgomery (4-0) pulled out to a 26-17 lead at the half after outscoring the Mustangs 15-6 in the second quarter. Six of those points came from two of Chantal Evett’s three three-pointer. Those two were part of a 10-2 Vikings run before the end of the quarter. Evett finished with 11 points.
“I really thought we did a great job of passing the ball around and getting great open looks,” Evett said. “We really played as a team and I think that really payed off.”
Tournament MVP Ashlee Wilson finished with 14 points, nine of which came in the second half, but credited her teammates more than anything.
“They’re the ones getting me the ball,” she said. “I did have a good shooting game today but definitely driving and kicking it got people open and the rest of the team did the work for us too. It wasn’t just one player.”
Montgomery shut down San Marin in the third quarter, with the Vikings holding the Mustangs to just four points and scoring 15 in the period.
Kiana Hawkins earned defensive MVP honors.
“I’ve always been aggressive,” Hawkins said. “It works against me and towards me. I just have to contain myself and keep going.”
Claire Donnelly scored 11 points and also said defense was the key.
“I think for the whole team, rebounds became key because obviously we needed to get offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds,” Donnelly said. “Defensively, that’s what’s won it for us in every game.”
Wilson feels that their opponents in the North Bay League will be targeting them now.
“Coming off big wins like this in a tournament, especially a prestigious tournament like the Sonoma tournament, teams in our league are probably going to be looking at us with a huge target,” Wilson said.
Bell feels those teams know that his team is filled with returning players.
“They know who those players are, and like I said, when we’re all working together out there, they do a good job,” Bell said. “They’re hard to stop because we have a lot of different options available to us.”
Montgomery plays in the Puma Tournament starting next Friday.
In the third place game, Sonoma Valley defeated Northgate 39-25. Delaney Swanson had 11 points and 12 rebounds, Ali Romano scored 10 and Mackenzie Albrecht grabbed 16 rebounds.
“It was a good win for us, rebounding off a very tough loss to San Marin last night by one,” Sonoma coach Sil Coccia said. “I was proud of the way the girls kind of fought through a really tough, bad first half and rebounded and played well in the second half.”
Sonoma Valley plays at Napa next Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.