SCL girls basketball: Petaluma puts the clamps on Analy 38-27


Proving strong defense often beats a good offense, Petaluma handed Analy its first loss against a Sonoma County League team this season to win the league tournament title Friday.

Taking a double-digit first-half lead, Petaluma put away Analy with patient play. The Trojans frustrated the Tigers from the start in posting the 38-27 win.

“We played awfully good defense. We slowed them down a little bit,” Petaluma coach Doug Johnson said.

Analy wanted to push the pace and stay away from a halfcourt contest. But missed shots, many off forced attempts, played into Petaluma’s game plan.

“We just played uptight and forced things we don’t normally,” Analy coach Tom Corriveau said. “You can never overlook Petaluma. They came in here to play hard.”

With the win, Petaluma could improve the team’s seeding for the North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs.

Analy should still gain a home game in the first round of section play after going undefeated in the regular season to win the SCL championship.

What the Tigers needed to avoid was a letdown after another big win, over Healdsburg in the tournament semifinal. But the Trojans had momentum coming off a tournament semifinal win at Sonoma Valley.

Even more, defeating an opponent three times in a season is difficult given familiarity with styles of play. Analy took both league games with Petaluma — Friday was a different story.

“The way we played tonight, we will frustrate a lot of teams,” Johnson said.

Going with a triangle-and-two defense, Petaluma packed the post and stayed close to Analy’s top outside shooters. Analy had difficulty getting inside and went 1 for 14 on 3-pointers.

The hybrid butterfly, as Johnson described the Petaluma defense, produced enough misses for the Trojans to snag rebounds and slow the pace of play.

Then the Trojans pounded the ball inside. Post standouts Allison Scranton and Joelle Krist each scored 12 points to pace Petaluma.

Pressing across the floor is Analy’s defensive game. But the Tigers could not force enough turnovers to generate a pace leading to transition scores.

Leading the Tigers in scoring were Jenna Petray with 7 points and Jessie Davidson with 6, both totals well below their double-digit averages.

“It’s a wake up call,” Corriveau said. “We’ll bounce back.”

Taking home the SCL tournament trophy was a great end to Johnson’s 36-year run in league play leading Petaluma. The Trojans girls clearly want to keep the season alive.

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