By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Colin McAlvain showed Friday night he’s not a one-sport athlete as the football quarterback led the Windsor basketball team to a 56-47 victory over host Santa Rosa.
Playing point guard, he scored 18 points and pulled down six rebounds.
“This was McAlvain’s best game, bar none,” coach Travis Taylor said.
“He displayed leadership, took care of the ball and led the team in scoring.”
The Jaguars took control of the game in third period when McAlvain scored two key baskets.
The junior’s bucket midway through the period put Windsor up 37-31.
Later, he knocked down a 3-pointer to increase the advantage to 44-34.
Santa Rosa made a run to get within five early in the fourth quarter, but McAlvain scored six points in the final six minutes to ensure his team got the road win.
Austen McMahan got the Panthers off to a quick start as he scored his team’s first eight points.
Late in the first quarter, Santa Rosa led 19-9.
Windsor rallied in the second quarter and took the lead for good, 28-25, on McAlvain’s first 3-pointer of the evening.
The Jaguars accomplished two of their primary goals, shutting down Santa Rosa point guard Jacob Graves and limiting turnovers.
Graves didn’t score from the field — his only points came from the free throw line where he was perfect with seven attempts.
“We felt to have an opportunity to win we had to keep Graves under control and we did,” Taylor said. “I was also happy that we limited our turnovers to six.
“We’re starting to play better. It’s going to be tough getting road wins in the NBL, so this was a nice one to get.”
The Jaguars opened league with a home win over Rancho Cotate and are 8-6 overall.
Santa Rosa coach John McGill wasn’t in the best of moods after the game.
“I’m frustrated,” he said. “Again tonight, we’re in the game and in position to win but don’t get the job done. We’ve done this several times.
“When the game is on the line, we make critical errors,” he said.
“In the fourth quarter, we got the lead down to six with four minutes to go and commit an intentional foul. So, their lead goes from six to nine.
“Then, we rushed on offense instead of working for a good shot. We miss and Windsor gets the rebound and comes down and scores.
“We’ve got to play smarter. I think if we can win a close game, it will boost our confidence.”
The Panthers did shoot their free throws well, canning 21 of 28. Windsor, meanwhile, could convert only 12 of 25.
McMahan, a 6-foot-6 senior, was the game’s leading scorer with 20.
Besides McAlvain, the Jaguars had two other players in double figures: Casey Myers scored 15 and Adam Garcia had 10 points.
Santa Rosa’s record drops to 4-10 and 0-2 in league.
Next up for the Panthers is a Wednesday home game against Maria Carrillo.
That same night, Windsor will host Casa Grande.