High school basketball tournaments: Panthers turn on the defense

A scrum ensues as Santa Rosa’s Kalei Aukai drives to the hoop against Rancho Cotate’s Gunner Mefferd and Rio Antonucci (22) as 
Isaiah Steele of Santa Rosa gets in on the action, during the Sonoma County Classic on Tuesday at Piner High School in Santa Rosa. (KENT PORTER / The Press Democrat)

A scrum ensues as Santa Rosa’s Kalei Aukai drives to the hoop against Rancho Cotate’s Gunner Mefferd and Rio Antonucci (22) as 
Isaiah Steele of Santa Rosa gets in on the action, during the Sonoma County Classic on Tuesday at Piner High School in Santa Rosa. (KENT PORTER / The Press Democrat)

By HOWARD SENZELL

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa, playing one of its best defensive games of the season, defeated Rancho Cotate, 66-25, in second-round action at the Sonoma County Classic Tuesday night at Piner.
“Defense, defense, defense,” coach John McGill said. “That’s what I stressed in our pre-game talk.”
The Panthers responded by limiting Rancho to single digits in all four quarters. Rancho’s highest-scoring period was the fourth, when they had nine points.
Santa Rosa led 11-2 after one quarter and 36-8 at halftime.
Isaiah Steele led the balanced Panthers scoring with 10. Max Hedges wound up with eight.
Sean Chumley had five for the Cougars.

In other second-round action:

CARDINAL NEWMAN 64, 
LAS LOMAS 47The undefeated Cardinals broke open a close game by outscoring the Knights, 35-20 in the second half.
Connor Rubattino led the way with 25 points followed by Justin Botteri with 12.
After trailing 27-19 late in the second quarter, Newman found another gear.
“We played really, really well beginning late in the second quarter and that continued in the second half,” coach Tom Bonfigli said. “It was a very good game for us.”
The Cardinals dominated the boards with 40 rebounds.
Bonfigli praised Conor McCarthy and Damian Wallace for their efforts coming off the bench.

PINER 67, MT. EDEN 54
The Prospectors advanced to the title game and will have an opportunity to win their own tournament for the first time since 2005.
The all-local championship game is set for 6 p.m. today.
Piner had three players in double figures against Mt. Eden. Keith Adams led the way with 21 followed by Sam Domineko (14) and Michael Tran (11).
Piner led by six after one quarter and stretched the margin to 34-20 at halftime.

EUREKA 55, HEALDSBURG 35
The Loggers led all the way and enjoyed a 29-11 lead at intermission.
High-point scorers for the Greyhounds were Landon Courtman and Levi Yeley with 12 each.
In other boys tournament action Tuesday:

ANALY 56, MARIA CARRILLO 34
At Windsor, Malcolm Jenkins nearly outscored the Pumas on his own. The senior scored a season-high 30 points.

CASA GRANDE 53, MILLS 48
At Kentfield, Jon Christy scored 12 points in the fourth quarter as the Gauchos rallied to win their finale in the Don Bambauer Tournament.
Casa trailed by three at the start of the fourth quarter.
Christy finished with a game-high 24 points and also grabbed six rebounds. Colin McDonald contributed 10 points and pulled down nine boards.
The Gauchos finished the tourney with a 2-2 record and that was good for 11th place in the 16-team tournament.

LYNNWOOD 39, MONTGOMERY 35
At Torrey Pines, the Vikings wound up with a 1-3 record in the San Diego-area tournament.
It was 28-28 heading to the fourth quarter.
Montgomery began the tourney with a victory and then lost three in a row.
The Vikings were without point guard Michael Septimo for the three losses. He sprained his knee last Friday in the win over Franklin (Seattle).

ELSIE ALLEN 56, 
WOOSTER (RENO) 28
At Fairfield, the Lobos advanced to today’s consolation championship with the victory.
Bradley Greiner finished with a game-high 17 while Jalen Busby scored 13. Both played limited minutes.

SONOMA ACADEMY 43, RVC 40
At Rincon Valley Christian, the Coyotes defeated the Eagles for the first time in school history.
Sonoma Academy came from four points down in the final quarter to get the victory.
Drake Herold led the Coyotes’ offense with 18 points while Joe Lin had 23 for RVC.
In girls tournament action:

PETALUMA 45, NOVATO 32
At Novato, the Trojans captured the consolation championship of the Beade-Meaney tourney. Joelle Krist took high-point honors with 13 while Cassie Baddeley had 12. Both made the all-tournament team.

WINDSOR 50, AMADOR VALLEY 35
At Livermore, Jessica Barbosa led the Jaguars to the convincing win.
The 6-foot-1 senior scored 27 points and was credited with 23 rebounds.
Barbosa and teammate Sabrina Simili were named to the all-tourney team.