By PETER FOURNIER
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
SONOMA — Petaluma High center Allison Scranton said that she’s trying to learn to use her size to her advantage.
After the 6-foot center scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Trojans’ 56-42 victory over Sonoma Valley Saturday night, it’s safe to say the sophomore is catching on pretty quick.
“I’m going to be kind of facetious. You know the difference between night and day? Without her in there, a lot of things bad happen for us and when she’s in there, things stop real quick,” Petaluma coach Doug Johnson said.
“She also played with four fouls which shows a lot of maturity.”
Scranton said this was the Trojans’ first real test of the season and league play.
“We really went in, we wanted this game because this was our SCL make a difference. So we really wanted to win it,” Scranton said.
“Didn’t matter what we had to do to win, we just wanted that game.”
Sonoma Valley coach Sil Coccia said Scranton was nearly unstoppable.
“Obviously (she) is just a tremendous space-eater and we really didn’t have an answer for her,” Coccia said.
“She just kind of had her way with us inside. I give credit. She went hard for the ball.”
Scranton scored eight of 10 Trojans points during an 18-2 Petaluma run in the second quarter which allowed the Trojans to build a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Dragons scored seven of their 10 points in the second with 48 seconds left before the half and were held to just three points for the majority of the fourth quarter.
“I think Petaluma did a better job of going harder for the ball,” Coccia said.
“Even when they missed a shot, they went after it and got their own rebound and put back. I just think they played harder and executed better than we did.”
Scranton said it was the team’s first game where it faced heavy physical pressure from an opposing defense. The Trojans forced 24 Dragons’ turnovers.
“It’s definitely really physical,” she said. “You have a lot of people in your face. I got a nice fat lip. You just have to go for the ball. You have to be physical. You have to know your strength.”
Sonoma Valley did close to within 10 points of the Trojans in the third quarter, but a basket by Scranton pushed the lead back up to 12. Petaluma then outscored the Dragons 14-6 until the waning minutes of the fourth quarter to pull away.
Johnson still thinks his squad could improve in a few areas, calling timeout twice in the final five minutes to work on things.
“Like Sonoma County there’s a few potholes in there and we got to fill them up,” he said. “So we’ll try to take care of that.
Filling the outside gaps shouldn’t be difficult with Scranton being a concrete inside presence.
“They played a great game, and this one here (Scranton), super,” Johnson said.