By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Six of the eight teams in the North Bay League received invitations to the North Coast Section Tournament with Montgomery getting the highest seed, a No. 3 in the Div. 2 bracket.
The NBL half-dozen are among 21 Redwood Empire girls teams participating in NCS, which continues through March 2.
Montgomery (22-6) will swing into action on Tuesday when No. 14 Northgate of Walnut Creek (12-14) comes to town for an 8 p.m. game. The two schools have history as the Vikings handled the Broncos, 44-22, on Nov. 30 in the Sonoma Dragon Classic.
“I’m sure Northgate has improved since then and I know we have,” Montgomery coach Steve Bell said.
Montgomery is coming off a victory over Santa Rosa in Friday’s NBL Tournament championship game.
“If we play like we did that night, we’ll do fine in the tournament,” Bell said. “It was a collective effort and the girls played smart.”
Bell wasn’t surprised when the bracket was posted.
“Our draw was about right,” he said. “We’re right where we should be.”
Also coming out of the NBL in Div. 2 are: No. 7 Casa Grande (15-12), No. 8 Maria Carrillo (15-11) and No. 12 Windsor (15-10).
Casa gets a home game against No. 10 Fremont Washington (13-12), Maria Carrillo entertains No. 9 Fremont American (18-8) and Windsor travels to No. 5 Dublin (18-8).
Santa Rosa, the NBL regular season champion, will represent Sonoma County in Div. I. The Panthers (22-6) were given the No. 6 seed and will host No. 11 Dougherty Valley (14-12) on Tuesday.
Cardinal Newman is the other NBL team in the tourney. The Cardinals (16-8) were seeded No. 10 and will visit No. 7 St. Patrick-St. Vincent (14-13).
Petaluma is the highest seed among three Empire teams in Div. 4. The Trojans went undefeated in the SCL season and also won the league tournament.
Petaluma (24-4) was given a No. 5 seed for its efforts and will host No. 12 Hercules (16-11) on Tuesday.
Two other SCL teams are in the bracket: No. 11 Sonoma Valley (15-12) travels to No. 6 Novato (18-10) and No. 13 Analy (13-14) heads to Richmond for a game against No. 4 Kennedy (24-2).
In addition to Cardinal Newman, five other Empire schools are in Div. 4 and at least one coach wasn’t happy with the draw.
That would be Eric Mehtlan of Willits. Despite winning the North Central League I and posting a 20-6 record, the Wolverines were given a No. 11 and an opening round away game at No. 6 Marin Catholic (19-8).
“How we didn’t get a home game is beyond me,” Mehtlan said. “In my opinion, the selection committee did a crappy job.”
Other area teams in the bracket are: No. 13 Cloverdale (19-7), No. 14. Healdsburg (15-12) and No. 16 Middletown (16-10).
Three schools from North Central League II are among the 16 teams in Div. 5.
St. Vincent (20-8), despite not winning league, is ranked highest at No. 6. The Mustangs will travel to No. 11 Emery (20-6). The Emeryville team got the home game because it won the Bay Counties League
Sonoma Academy (21-4), the NCL II winner, is seeded No. 8 and will host No. 9 Head-Royce (16-10).
No. 12 Roseland Prep (19-8) will travel to Alameda where No. 5 St. Joseph Notre Dame (12-14) awaits.
The Empire will be well-represented in Div. 6 where five of the 10 entrants are from this area. The highest seed is No. 4 Tomales (18-10). The others are No. 5 Point Arena (21-5), No. 7 Rio Lindo Adventist (13-7), No. 8 Anderson Valley (12-7) and No. 10 Summerfield Waldorf (15-9).