By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Petaluma completed its domination of SCL rivals Saturday night as the Trojans defeated Analy, 53-37, in the league tournament final at Santa Rosa JC.
During the 2013 season, Petaluma won all 14 of its games against league rivals and the average margin of victory was 25 points.
For awhile in the championship game, the top-seeded Trojans’ streak was on shaky ground as they led only 29-26 at halftime.
The second half was a different story as the Petaluma defense stepped up to hold No. 3 Analy to one point in the opening 4:30 of the third quarter. During that time, the Trojans scored six to take control again.
The Tigers endured another scoring drought to start the fourth, this time going four minutes without a point. While they endured scoring woes, Petaluma increased the lead to 47-35.
Analy was outscored 24-11 in the second half.
There were 42 fouls called, 22 of those on Analy, Petaluma converted 18-of-36 free throws and the Tigers made good on 11-of-23.
“It was a very physical game,” Trojans center Allison Scranton said. “There seemed to be contact on every possession.
“We hit a lull in the second quarter and Analy got back in the game. But we talked at halftime about what was at stake and came out with our second wind.”
It looks like the Trojans will continue to dominate the SCL for the next few years as their three top scorers Saturday are sophomores.
Katy Bisges led the way with 15, one more than Joelle Krist. Scranton, the 6-foot center, had nine.
Coach Doug Johnson, in his 36th year leading the Petaluma program, picked up his fourth tournament trophy.
“I thought one of the keys to the game was our substitution pattern,” he said. “The girls coming off the bench did an excellent job and the starters were able to get rest.
“Bisques had a great game and she came up with big baskets when needed ’em. Krist also played well.
“We get off to a good start and scored 19 in the first quarter but I wasn’t getting overconfident. Analy has shown several times this year, including in the opening round against Sonoma, that they can come back.”
In the second half, the Trojans’ defense kept the ball from getting into the post. On most possessions, Analy turned the ball over or settled for a long-range shot. The Tigers finished with 19 turnovers.
Senior Mikenna Martin and sophomore Jenna Petray shared high point honors for the Tigers with 10 points apiece.
“I thought we had them going into halftime,” Analy coach Earl Pasamonte said. “Those two scoring droughts in the second half were the difference.
“Taking care of the ball has been a problem all season for us and it was again in this game.
“We did do some things well,” he added. “Davidson hurt us the first two times we met and we held her to six. We also rebounded better than we did the other times we played.”
The Tigers are now 13-15 and should get invited to the NCS Tournament because they finished 8-4 in league.
Petaluma, now 24-4 and winner of seven straight, is guaranteed an invite. The Trojans also figure to get a Tuesday night home game.
Brackets for NCS will be released today.