By RICHARD J. MARCUS
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
SEBASTOPOL — A familiar pattern developed throughout Friday night’s 67-48 Analy boys’ basketball victory over Sonoma County League foe Healdsburg. On offense the Tigers would shoot, miss, rebound and repeat the cycle two, three and even four times before Analy would finish the long sequence with a bucket.
In short, offensive rebounding in earnest is what won the host Tigers the game, keeping Analy (14-7, 7-0) comfortably in first place and undefeated in the SCL with five league games to play. Healdsburg (16-5, 4-3) remains in third place.
“There was maybe five or six times all game when Analy only had one shot on an offensive possession,” Healdsburg coach Nick Galvan said. “Analy probably tripled us in the number of total shots. It’s hard to win a game that way.”
Piner remains the last formidable opponent standing in the way of an undefeated SCL season for Analy. The Tigers play at Piner on Feb. 8 in the final game of the regular season. Neither the Prospectors nor any other team in Sonoma County can match the Tigers’ height.
“It’s hard to rebound against our big dogs,” Sebastopol coach Brett Page said. “Healdsburg had to work extra hard for rebounds and our running kind of got to them.”
The much taller, deeper and more physical Tigers had their way on the boards with the Greyhounds and it eventually wore down smaller Healdsburg, which has played without its tallest player and leading rebounder, Arnold Silva, for four weeks. The 6-foot-5 Silva averages 13 rebounds per game but has been out recovering from an appendectomy.
“In my opinion, Silva is the best rebounder in Sonoma County,” Galvan said. “We could have really used him tonight.”
Said Page: “Without their big guy (Silva) it was tough for them (Healdsburg).”
For example, Analy’s 6-foot-10 center, Erik Poulsen, was guarded most of the night by Healdsburg’s 6-foot-1 Daniel Schroeder, who fouled out midway through the fourth quarter and looked exhausted as he headed back to the Greyhounds’ bench.
“That is a real hard thing to ask of those kids (guarding players much taller),” Galvan said. “I tip my hat to Analy. They came out very aggressive and worked hard.”
In the teams’ first meeting three weeks ago at Healdsburg, the Greyhounds were in it until the end and lost 55-47.
The Greyhounds were picked as the team most likely to challenge Analy for the SCL title before the season. The rematch, however, wasn’t close as Analy led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and 37-27 at halftime. During the first six minutes of the third quarter the Tigers doubled their lead to 50-30 after Analy’s Grant St. Martin buried a 3-pointer.
Healdsburg did not have the firepower to dent the Analy lead in the fourth quarter against the Tigers’ second-stringers and lost by 19 points.
Analy was led by a quartet of scorers: Gabe Greenberg-Pines (15 points), Josiah Sorensen (12), Geddy Dukes (10) and Jacob Hicks (10).
“We played pretty good defense on Analy’s guards, it was their big guys that did the damage,” Galvan said. “Our offense was stagnant, so Analy didn’t have to work hard on defense.”
Healdsburg was led by sharpshooting Cameron Lutz with 22 points to lead all scorers. No other Greyhound had double-digit points.
“Cameron is a really gifted player,” Galvan said. “He worked really hard to keep us in the game, but unfortunately he couldn’t do it himself.”
The Tigers bottled up Healdsburg’s three-point specialist Sam Walker, who rarely had a good look at the basket.
“Our defense was pretty good tonight,” Page said. “We made good adjustments in the second half. We changed the match-ups on defense and it made a big difference.”
The result was a Healdsburg squad that was unable to run, had only one player scoring and a team badly beaten on the
“This was our worst shooting in the past four games. Shooting poorly did not help our cause,” Galvan said. “We didn’t execute our overall game plan.”
Not many Redwood Empire teams do against the tall and talented Tigers.