By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Monday’s Martin Luther King Day challenge between Empire large-school girls basketball teams should help give some schools bragging rights.
Windsor High hosts this year’s slate of six games over a half-day of competition between the North Bay and Sonoma County leagues. Coming in the middle of league play, the contests provide an opportunity to improve resumes heading toward the section playoffs.
The Fourth Annual MLK Day challenge features a pair of marquee matchups.
Petaluma, back among the Empire’s best, takes on a veteran Montgomery team.
Following that contest are two strong squads in Sonoma Valley and Maria Carrillo.
Meeting for a second consecutive MLK Day Challenge, the Sonoma Valley Dragons look for a better showing after falling to the Maria Carrillo Pumas a year ago.
Also seeking a reversal of results is Santa Rosa. The Panthers are stronger this season heading into a return engagement with Analy, always a tough opponent. The Tigers beat Santa Rosa in last season’s challenge.
Two pairings have teams that until this season met in league play.
A featured game is Windsor taking on Healdsburg, renewing the north Sonoma County rivalry. Windsor, with Casa Grande, moved to the NBL for athletic competition this school year, ending the home-and-home league contests with Healdsburg of years past.
Making the move to the SCL from the NBL were Elsie Allen and Piner. The MLK Day Challenge brings together Elsie Allen and former league foe Ukiah.
El Molino and Rancho Cotate open the tournament. Another competitive pairing reflects the event’s aim to draw fans for spirited play.
Last season’s challenge had the SCL winning four of the six contests.
4th Annual NBL-SCL MLK Day Challenge
At Windsor High School
El Molino vs. Rancho Cotate, 11:30 a.m.
Ukiah vs. Elsie Allen, 1 p.m.
Analy vs. Santa Rosa, 2:30 p.m.
Petaluma vs. Montgomery, 4 p.m.
Sonoma Valley vs. Maria Carrillo, 5:30 p.m.
Windsor vs. Healdsburg, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $7 adults, $5 seniors/children, $3 students